have I stumbled upon a vast Metro Card conspiracy?
July 19, 2010 4:53 PM Subscribe
Difference between Monthly and pay-per-ride Metro Cards "swipiness?" (NY Subway here)
posted by xetere to travel & transportation (16 answers total)
I am a typical New Yorker who rolls eyes at the tourists who do not know how to swipe Metro Cards. I usually get a monthly, put it in my wallet w/o any attempt to protect it. I almost never have problems.
When I buy a pay-per-ride Metro Card (say I'll be on vacation for two weeks) I almost always have problems swiping. I invariably get the dreaded "please swipe again at this turnstile."
Since I am using the same technique, store it in the same place, and go to the same subway stations - and - this has happened to me often, as in every time I got a pay-per-ride in the past two years, I am wondering what could cause this.
Hypothesis 1. The monthly needs to store less info on the stripe, ergo, it can lose more data or be dirtier. That is, it can be lossier but still retain enough info to get me into the subway. This works if it is in fact true that the monthly needs to store less info.
Hypothesis 2. The MTA has a secret plan. Since the MTA can't steal a ride from a monthly, there is no incentive to make it hypersensitive, whereas a pay-per-ride, well if they can frustrate enough so that they might be charged twice, and if a large percentage just curse and then go about their business, it can be a nice bit of gravy to their coffers.
I am aware of confirmation bias, but since my pay-per-ride metro purchases are directly connected to vacation, I don't think I would forget all those times pay-per-rides worked since this happens only on vacation time (say 4 x/year).