Monthly MetroCard Could Be Capped At 90 Trips

Three days ago, the New York Post broke the story about the potential specifics of the MTA fare hike that will take place in 2011. The initial headline took aim at the “MetroCard Tax” that would come from a $1 surcharge for riders purchasing a new MetroCard from a vending machine instead of refilling an old one. However the biggest news might come in the form of a trip limit on unlimited MetroCards.

The initial report in the New York Post did not offer any details on what the limit could possibly be. However today’s edition of the New York Daily News does as their report claims the MTA is considering a 21 trip limit on Weekly MetroCards & 90 on the Monthly MetroCards. Pete Donohue has more:

An unlimited monthly MetroCard would max out at 90 trips under an MTA budget proposal – and officials may also cap the weekly cards at 21 rides, the Daily News has learned.

The limits eyed by Metropolitan Transportation Authority brass would sting a small percentage of riders who use the cards, sources said Monday.

The average straphanger who uses the card to get back and forth to work, with a few extra trips tossed in, wouldn’t be affected.

But people who take the subway often as part of their job – such as messengers – could find themselves having to buy 13 or more monthly MetroCards a year.

The caps might curb a breed of subway scammer – “swipers” who get an unlimited-ride card and then sell access to the platforms for less than the $2.25 fare.

MTA staff are expected to unveil a preliminary 2011 budget to the board late this month.

Citing red ink, the MTA aims to raise revenue by 7.5% overall. A monthly MetroCard would jump $10, to $99, while a weekly would go up by $2, to $29, sources said.

Those prices would have to be even higher if not for savings achieved through the MetroCard caps – which would affect less than 10% of unlimited card buyers, a source said.

Click here for the complete report.

As I noted 3 days ago, I wanted to wait to opine on this part of the proposal until some specifics came out. While these numbers are not official, I will opine based on them. I am 100% against the capping of these cards as an unlimited card should provide unlimited rides point blank.

I also seriously question their information on how only a small percentage of riders would be hurt by this. I for one easily surpassed the 90 ride amount almost every single month I would use a Monthly Metrocard. Why should I or others get punished for using the product as it was intended?

This is yet another example of the MTA giving the screws to their regular riders. I bet if I paid a base fare like the small minority do, I’d be sparred of these “caps” since the agency seems to always lessen the burden for them. I hope these initial reports are incorrect but I highly doubt it. I am curious what the MTA’s statement will be about this report if they have any.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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A cap on “unlimited” rides? What an inconvenience—I don’t want to be watching my trip count like I watch the number of texts I have available on my texting plan. And, that’s just a big misnomer. Commuters are free to the allotted 90 trips anytime, but it will not be necessarily “unlimited”… The $1 surcharge does seem to be a little excessive, but, it would definitely encourage riders to reuse and thus reduce trash. This summer has been a year of many fare hikes for transportation systems around the nation! It’s a bummer to already see plans for a fare hike next year. I’m so glad that I recently enrolled in commuter benefits, especially considering since I spend too much on commuting to work. We can save up to 40% on your commute and it’s so convenient. Learn more if you already haven’t, at

[…] bombshells to come from recent leaks about the upcoming fare hike was the MTA’s plans to put a cap on “unlimited” weekly & monthly MetroCards. I for one opined how ridiculous such a proposal was & how it would hurt a lot more riders […]

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