Charlie Card No More?
Image Source: The Verge
Last week, New York’s MTA rolled out a new payment option for commuters that has the potential to change the future of subway cards for-ev-er. MTA began accepting Apple Pay in lieu of an MTA card, so instead of shuffling through your wallet, backpack, or bag each time you board the train for your subway card, passengers can use their iPhone or their Apple Watch.
The initiative kicked off with 16 stations on the 4/5/6 lines between Grand Central-42nd street and Atlantic Av-Barclays Center as well as on all Staten Island buses. In order to use, all you need to do is make sure your phone or Apple Watch is updated with the latest software – iOS 12.3 on the iPhone and watchOS 5.2.1. Under settings, click “Wallet” & “Apple Pay” and there you’ll find a new option: Express Transit Card. Select a credit or debit card as your payment and authenticate that with Face ID or Touch ID, and voila! Unfortunately, there is no way to accommodate monthly/weekly passes at this time (one thing at a time!).
I think we all assume that incorporating this throughout all of the MTA will be quite an undertaking, but can you imagine subway cards becoming a thing of the past? How long before our beloved Charlie Cards become the equivalent to a Studio54 matchbook or a two dollar bill? A collector’s item that gives future generations a glimpse into the past. A past before technology took over the world entirely. Okay, I’m being dramatic, but this is a big deal! In all seriousness, the MTA says they plan on having this rolled out citywide by late 2020. So it can’t be THAT far off for Boston, right?!
Posted by Abby