I don’t know that this has ever happened to me in my seven years of using a MetroCard.
I made my way to the turnstile under Grand Central this morning, en route to the 6.
I saw the massive lines for new monthly tickets, and patted myself on the back for having had the forethought to bring my August ticket this morning.
Alas, the turnstile turned out to be a spurnstile.
“Already Expired,” read the digital reader after I ran my card through the turnstile.
I have four MetroCards in my wallet right now, six if you include the ones offering their services on the flipside of my July and August train passes. All four have some degree of value on them–40 cents or a buck or a buck-fifty, or some amount that’s not quite enough to get on the subway with.
This happens when I need to put more money on the card, but am faced with a machine that issues only new MetroCards. I have another five or six cards at home, also with some change on them. I may make a Christmas ornament out of them someday.
A crowd assembling behind me at the turnstile, I flipped the card over. “Expires -7/31/10,” it said. Expired indeed, and took my four or five dollars or whatever I had on the card with it.
Happy freakin’ Monday, I thought as I headed for the escalator and Grand Central exit.
At least walking is still free.
UPDATE: Thanks to the sound advice from readers Benjamin and Ellie, I presented my expired card to the token clerk at 28th and Park, and was given a fresh new card with the existing $4.50 on it about four seconds later.