Sunday New York City Gripe-fest: Why does my MetroCard need to be swiped three times and why can’t it be replaced because it is defective?

Dear Metro Transit Authority Officials,

Earlier this week, my $129 monthly Metro Card stopped swiping properly at many of your stations, causing me to miss my fair share of subways. I visited one of your ticket agents when this first happened. He would not issue me a new card to replace the defective one (even after confirming through his computer that my card was valid and not working properly). He simply opened the emergency door for me to enter the platform area. This was a temporary solution, but certainly no fix.

When this happened again today, I visited another ticket agent. She told me that the solution to my problem would be to swipe my card three (3!!!) times in a row, and on the third time, the card would work correctly. I didn’t blame her for this policy, but informed her that this was ludicrous (while people exited through the turnstile between my swipes, causing me further delay). Then, I asked for a new card since this one was obviously defective. She said she couldn’t issue me one.

This is why I am contacting you. In the year 2012, I would hope that people in a metropolis like New York wouldn’t be inconvenienced in this way. I am also shocked that a two-cent MetroCard can’t be replaced mid-month when it is defective. I want answers. And I’m sure so do the many other people whom this has happened to.


Stephen Robert Morse