The MTA announced its plan to phase out MetroCards by 2022 and the agency has begun experimenting with technology that would replace the old system.
Currently, only agency personnel using the eTix smartphone app for MetroNorth and LIRR tickets can use the new technology when transferring to the subway.
Instead of swiping a card, customers can tap their phones or credit card on a scanner. According to the MTA’s capital plan, it would cost approximately $450 million to overhaul the entire system. The new payment system was recently installed in the Bowling Green Station on the 4 and 5 line and the Wall Street Station on the 2 and 3 lines, the Daily News first reported.
“We’ve started to test new systems that will ultimately enable MTA eTix users to purchase a joint railroad and subway ticket using their mobile phone,” said Shams Tarek, spokesperson for the agency. “It’s part of our efforts to create a 21st-century transit system that embraces innovation to improve the customer experience.”
It was also announced today that MTA booth workers would instead become “customer service ambassadors” and answer straphangers’ questions, the Daily News reported. Since current agents handle MetroCard transactions and the MTA will eventually do away with the cards, the employees would focus more on answering questions and providing information about any construction or delays.
The 53rd Street station on the R line in Brooklyn was recently renovated and now includes new customer service ambassadors.