Metrocard Math

During my trip, I missed two important New York things. Actually, I probably missed way more than two but, right now, I’ll narrow down NYC into only two things – these are the only TWO THINGS that were of any importance during the last three weeks. First, I missed snowmageddon. Second, I missed the metrocard fare hike.

So, today, I walked to the subway station to refill my card. Since I’m no longer in NYC full time, I only buy single rides – no unlimited rides for me (except for the occasional one-day unlimited pass when I know I’ll be making 4 or more rides in 1 day). There were four Metrocards in my wallet so I had to check each one to see if any money was left on them, and then went through the motion to refill my card. I got to the machine, noticed that there was no general $40.00 option on the screen anymore, and – after buying $40.00 worth of rides, I noticed that my bonus was $2.80 cents. A one way ride is $2.25. What the hell am I suppose to do with that extra 55 cents?

It turns out that one of the magic numbers for new metrocards is, currently, $39.95. Because of the 7% bonus, and the fact that everything has to be in 5 cent increments, spending $39.95 will give you exactly 19 rides. This doesn’t take into account the future “fee” where every new metrocard will cost you $1.00. Doesn’t $39.95 sound like a price from an infomercial? Honestly, I should be getting a free sham-wow every time I buy a metrocard now.