Subway Fare Hikes Start Early

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.

This entry was posted in 6 train, Grand Central, Metrocard. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Subway Fare Hikes Start Early

  1. As long as you didn’t throw out the card, you can get that money back. Just go talk to a station agent the next time you see one, and he or she will set you on the right path. It’s a relatively painless process.

  2. Ellie says:

    Has your MetroCard expired?

    Whether Pay-Per-Ride or Unlimited Ride, every MetroCard has an expiration date. The date is located at the upper left corner on the back of the card. The expiration date is usually about one year from the date of purchase.

    If your Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard expires, you have two years from the expiration date to transfer any remaining money to a new card. Within the first year after expiration, bring your expired card to any subway station and ask the agent to make the transfer. After that time, the expired MetroCard must be sent to MetroCard customer claims. Ask the station agent for a postage-paid Business Reply Envelope.

    If your Unlimited Ride MetroCard expires, you should mail it to MTA Customer Service and request a replacement card. Pre-addressed postage paid envelopes are available at station booths.

    MetroCard Customer Claims
    2 Broadway
    Room D11.03
    New York, NY 10004

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