How not to wreck a NYC metrocard.
April 7, 2008 12:54 PM   Subscribe

How do you prevent a NYC metro card from magnet damage?

My blackberry holster has a magnet on it, and I'm convinced it's that magnet that is damaging my NYC metro card.

I have had two cards wrecked by having blackberry in same pocket as card (card is always in a plastic sleeve).

The MTA never replied to my request for info on re-magnetizing a card, but they have replaced the damaged cards. Does anyone know of any trick to safeguard the card around magnets, or to re-juice (how techy) a card if it is damaged?

I've been trying to keep my metrocard far away from Blackberry holster, and from any other magnetic sources, but sometimes I forget.
posted by lookoutkitty to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (8 answers total)
Ditch the holster and carry your blackberry in your pocket. I leave my holster in the car and use it to clip the bb to the left edge of my rearview mirror when I'm using the GPS function and Blackberry maps. BTW, the blackberry itself doesn't do anything to my Charlie Cards and monthly passes, but I'll be sure not to let them near my holster that usually lives in my car console.
posted by Rafaelloello at 1:03 PM on April 7, 2008

Right pocket= Blackberry
Left pocket= Metrocard?
posted by rmless at 1:26 PM on April 7, 2008

We have the same problem with our magnetic stripe tickets at BART in California--keeping your ticket in a protective holder helps some, but so many things have magnets in them now including PDAs, Cellphones, MP3 players, some jewelry, purse clasps, etc. that it is hard to keep the tickets away from all magnets.

We've developed a holder that is pretty magnet proof--it is a basic vinyl ticket protector with metal plates sandwiched in the vinyl. We are just now testing it with customers--my feeling is they are heavy and very rigid and would be awkward to carry in a pocket--if you want to be a guinea pig you can memail me your address and I'll send you one to test out.
And, bonus, you can be a cool kid with the BART logo item on the MTA.

Otherwise, just ask MTA to give you one of their ticket protectors.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:04 PM on April 7, 2008

Ah forget about the last sentence--I missed that you already use a holder.
posted by agatha_magatha at 2:05 PM on April 7, 2008

I've had similar problems, and without a magnet - my Razr V3 phone regularly seems to destroy magnetic strips placed next to it in my pocket. I suspect the effect is due in my case to the EM field generated by the phone when I receive calls or SMS messages.

Maybe you could attach a binder clip inside your coat and use that to hold the card.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:06 PM on April 7, 2008

@le morte de bea arthur: I think it has more to do with the fact that the RAZR has a zillion speakers w/ associated magnets. there are at least 3 separate speakers (handset, speakerphone and ringtone) + the 'vibrate' motor in there!
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:15 PM on April 7, 2008

You want to block a electromagnetic radiation (if that's really what causing it) you need a faraday cage. These faraday cage wallets might do the trick.
posted by sero_venientibus_ossa at 6:25 AM on April 8, 2008

Thanks for all the comments. I've tried the right pocket =card, left pocket = blackberry, but you know what happens after a cocktail or two...

The binder clip is a great idea, I may try that too.

I'm going to check out the cage wallet.
posted by lookoutkitty at 4:32 AM on April 9, 2008

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