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New York City Makes Millions on Unused MetroCards Each Year

Excerpt from New York Times

Jan 17, 2014 1:30 pm

Skift Take

The MTA is planning to introduce digital transit passes in the next 5 years, but will likely keep the fare expiration dates in order to keep this stream of revenue.

— Samantha Shankman

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Paul May  / Flickr

MetroCards pile up at a subway turnstile in Union Square. Paul May / Flickr


Think of it as New York’s biggest sock drawer, except that instead of nickels, dimes and quarters, what is squirreled away in its dark recesses are millions of lapsed yellow-and-blue MetroCards with digital loose change still dangling from their magnetic strips.

In the decade ending in 2010, nearly $500 million worth of unspent balances on expired bus and subway MetroCards accumulated, and that money can no longer be redeemed.

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