Shizelle Small: I'm Shizelle Small with an “In The News” podcast for TransitTrax, New York City Transit's Podcast service.
((Sound: MetroCard Swipe))
That beep is as familiar to subway riders as the conductors refrain to stand clear of the closing doors. But for some, that familiar sound at the turnstile is occasionally accompanied by another not so welcomed sound, and feeling.
((Sound: Turnstile arm))
Of walking into the turnstile arm because a MetroCard has no value on it.
We've all been there. But there's a way to avoid that not so lovin' feeling: the EasyPayXpress MetroCard. Ron Parker, is the Director of EasyPay Programs for New York City Transit's Corporate Communications department.
Ron Parker, Director, EasyPay Programs: It’s a regular Metrocard, but it has all the conveniences that you are looking for in a card. It’s really pretty easy to sign up online and you associate your Metrocard with a credit card, a debit card or transportation benefit card. The card lasts you for about two years.
Shizelle Small: The EasyPayXpress card program began as a pay-per-ride bonus MetroCard targeted to Express Bus Riders who, because of where they live, have no real access to Vending Machines or station booths to refill their cards. And while express bus riders were the first to use the card, local riders have taken to the card as well.
Ron Parker: We started to notice in the program in like in August of 2007 that about 15 percent of the accounts that we had set up were being used by customers who only used local buses or used subways and they weren’t taking express buses at all. And then through the years up to August of this year we see now where about 75 percent of the accounts are for local buses and subways. The program is liked by our customer base when we've done surveys the customers have really had a very positive response to it. They like the convenience of it, and they felt that it encouraged them to use public transportation more because it made the fares readily available to them.
Shizelle Small: To make the card even more attractive to riders, a new wrinkle was added to the program this spring: a 30-Day Unlimited card.
Ron Parker: The 30 day card works just like the regular 30-Day Unlimited card in that as soon as you take your first swipe it triggers a payment from your account for $89 which is how it works. It is the convenience that you just don’t have to worry about if you're going to run out of money and have another chore to worry about. Then say ‘oh I can see that I'm getting to the end of my 30 day period now I have to go and figure out when can I get to the subway station to refill my card and sign up for another one.’ Here you just don’t have to do that. We do send an e-mail out to you to say that your 30 day period is about to end, so that you get a choice right at that point to continue that you know you're going to have another 30 day period, or to make the decision that you need to switch into this Pay-Per-Ride mode because that's what most advantageous to you at that time.
Shizelle Small: And if you know in advance when you're going away on vacation or out of town for business, your Unlimited EasyPayXpress account has built-in flexibility to adapt to your changing travel needs.
Ron Parker: You also have the option during that program to switch to a Pay-Per-Ride mode should you find that you have a business trip planned or a vacation planned, and the next 30 days you are not going to use the card. And so people do use that and find that to be very convenient.
Shizelle Small: It's simple fast, and convenient. To find out more about the EasyPayXpress Metrocard, just log on to www.easypaymetrocard.com. EasyPay, it's the easy way.
For TransitTrax, I'm Shizelle Small thanks for listening and thanks for riding with MTA New York City Transit.