It’s Not Fare: MetroCards Overcharging?

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metrocard-turnstileWe live in an electronic world right down to our money, with most of us using some type of online banking or bill paying. And while it’s convenient, sometimes it comes at a cost. CBS 2 HD has a warning about Metropolitan Transportation Authority MetroCards. Some passengers said they’re swiping their hard-earned money.Every day 7.5 million riders use New York’s transit system, most by swiping little plastic cards with their fare money. But just how accurate are those turnstiles with your money?

Liz Ostow, Daniella Caraballo and Malcolm Saunders all said they’ve been ripped off, after swiping MetroCards and having fares deducted – yet have been blocked from going through the turnstile.

They all said they are being robbed.

“It’s stealing my money,” Ostow said.

“I think I’m getting ripped off and so is everybody else,” Caraballo added.

“I think it’s a scam, making us pay more money,” Saunders said.

Councilman John Liu chairs the Transportation Committee at City Hall.

“The MetroCard system has been less than reliable for a long time,” Liu said.

“Not only is the MTA unaccountable for their overall finances. Now they’re reaching into people’s pockets and being unaccountable for what’s actually being put onto the MetroCards.”

Riders said that please “swipe again” message is actually a cover for the MTA swiping money off of their cards and they said they frequently never know and they can’t ask for the money back.

The MTA does track unused fares from MetroCards — some $40 million a year. But it does not track the untold dollars that are being taken from riders who have their fares swiped. In a statement the MTA said its 12-year-old turnstiles can have trouble reading the magnetic stripe and sometimes when the “swipe again” message appears “a fare may or may not have been deducted.”

The MTA investigated Ostow’s card and did find she had been double charged on a cross-town bus, but said they couldn’t find any evidence of fare snatching in the subways. Ostow said she told a token booth clerk twice about her fare being stolen – and twice she was allowed to ride after the card was looked at.

“It’s taking my money and not letting me in and she said: ‘Oh, probably ’cause your card is dirty,'” Ostow said.

The question everyone wants answered now is what will the MTA do to fix this problem?

The MTA has offered to refund Ostow the overcharge of her fare. And if you think you’ve been ripped off at the turnstiles, you can ask for a refund, too. Just click here.

{CBS Broadcasting/ Newscenter}


  1. “Every day 7.5 million riders use New York’s transit system, most by swiping little plastic cards with their fare money.”

    And the remaining riders get on how?


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