MTA Launches Smart Card Trial Program
By: NY1 News
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A six-month trial program began Tuesday that allows riders at some subway stations to use Smart Cards to unlock turnstiles with a simple tap.
New York Giants running back Tiki Barber was on hand at Grand Central Station to demonstrate how it’s done.
The pilot project is only available on the Lexington Avenue line between Borough Hall and 138th Street. The new technology is designed to let riders go through turnstiles with just a tap of their credit card.
"We're going to get something, some way to quickly get through our turnstiles and get on our subways so we don't have to stand in line on hot days like this,” said Barber.
The MTA hopes the Smart Cards will reduce commute time.
"If it works, and we hope it will work, it will be our goal to outfit all of our stations with a system like this,” said MTA Chairman Peter Kalikow.
The Straphangers Campaign is also on board, congratulating the MTA for looking for new ways to make commuting more convenient. But, they also acknowledged concerns from the union that a citywide Smart Card program could mean a loss of jobs.
Only Citibank customers with a PayPass MasterCard or debit card will be able to test the new system.