In news that begs you to ask, what took so long? The MTA has announced that in the first quarter of 2011, they will be offering riders an online solution to file for a MetroCard replacement. Here is more from a brief report by Maria Alvarez of Newsday:
Long Island Rail Road and other commuters will be able to go online to get damaged or defective Metro Cards replaced starting next year, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials.
Problems in distribution of prepaid postage envelopes created a short supply at New York City subway token booths, prompting transit officials to set up an online replacement service as well as provide LIRR riders with the prepaid envelopes at Penn Station, transit spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said.
Until the online service is set up, which should be in the first quarter of next year, commuters can for the first time go to Penn Station’s customer service booth and get a prepaid postage envelope and questionnaire to fill out and mail in with their defective Metro Card and get a replacement. More than 2,500 prepaid envelopes have been delivered to the customer service booth, Parker said.
Click here for the complete report.
When I first heard about this, I immediately said to myself, what in the world took them so long? I know the agency is notorious for being horribly slow at adapting to technology but this feature is one that without question should have been available the day MetroCards were implemented. Even if not right away, within the first couple of years would have been fair.
I have to ask, why even bother starting this process now if the overall goal is to replace the MetroCard system altogether? This clearly feels like taking a step backwards for no good reason. While I am sure it will help riders in the short term, it reeks of shortsightedness to the overall situation.
xoxo Transit Blogger