Getting Inventive At The MTA

by Christopher Paul on July 9, 2010

MTA Metrocard

(Image: MTA Metrocard, a Creative Commons Attribution No-Derivative-Works (2.0) image from mr_t_in_dc‘s photostream)

Speaking of the MTA… They’re getting desperate. They’ve got a $400m budget gap that they’re trying to fill. Raising fares and shutting down Subway lines isn’t doing enough; there’s only so much they can cut back before they collapse in on themselves. So what do you do when the traditional methods don’t work?

Get inventive with “fees” and redefine your products.

Apparently, the MTA is considering adding a $1 fee to all new Metrocard purchases. The idea behind the idea might not be so bad for two reasons, though. First, it raises money even though its a small amount, in my opinion. But, more importantly, it will incentivize people to hold on to their cards; that should save the MTA the extra costs associated with the cards but it will also cut back on the waste created by people’s inability to keep low or zero balanced cards in their pockets.

Other ideas the MTA is considering is redefining what “unlimited” means. From the NY Post:

Another major change under consideration is putting a cap on the number of trips using weekly and monthly “unlimited ride” cards.

I’m sure that idea won’t sit well with New Yorkers, though.

MTA ‘card’ game – NY Post

Previous post:

Next post: