Solution for Transportation: Save New Yorkers $52 Million by Recalculating MetroCard Refill Bonuses to Prevent WasteSubmitted by barbara pearl on Mon, 01/07/2013 - 6:37pm
$52 million is lost every year as subway and bus riders discard MetroCards with leftover balances.
The MTA’s system of providing uneven bonuses to riders when refilling their cards leads to balances below the cost of a single fare. We believe this system is disingenuous, encouraging riders to add dollars that are ultimately wasted. This system is similar to the ‘gift card’ scam ended by the Attorney General’s Office in 2007, where businesses profit from unspent dollars and cents.
In the case of MetroCards, the MTA rewards any amount added over $10 with a 7% bonus, resulting in amounts that cannot be spent. We propose the MTA offer refills by number of trips rather than amount. For example, 5 trips at a $2.25 fare costs $11.25. By choosing to add 5 trips to a MetroCard, customers would be charged $10.51 and receive a “discount” of $.74, for a total of $11.25. By choosing 10 trips, customers would pay $21.03 and receive a discount of $1.47, for a total of $22.50, and so on.
This plan maintains the MTA’s current system of rewards, and ensures riders are not cheated out of leftover balances.