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The MTA wants to replace Metrocards with eTix, but trains are still cooked

In an attempt to make the New York subway system even borderline functional, the MTA is beginning a switch to electronic tickets from the Metrocard.

While this will help with general convenience for everyone, it will also let commuters from outside New York City consolidate all their various tickets onto their phone in one place.

So far the Bowling Green station in downtown Manhattan is the first station to be equipped with the eTix reader.

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz spoke to amNEw York about the idea behind the new system,

“We have started to test these readers as part of the scheduled eTix expansion that will allow Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North railroad customers to purchase a joint railroad and subway ticket using their mobile phone. It’s part of our efforts to create a 21st century transit system that embraces innovation to improve the customer experience.”

The Metrocard was implemented in the 1990s and has done its duty admirably, but it’s 2017, cities around the globe have electronic scanners that streamline the whole commuting process. It’s about time New York joined the modern world.

This sentiment was echoed by Nick Sifuentes, executive director at the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, who told amNew York that it’s time to bring in some new technology on the New York subway,

“The MetroCard has been a great tool, but it’s outlived its usefulness. Cities from London to Los Angeles are definitely, at this point, ahead of the MTA in terms of fare technology and it’s good that we’re thinking of how to catch up.”

This seems like a solid plan to bring the New York subway system up to speed with the rest of the world. It’s unclear how much this will actually help with the biggest issue: train times, but I suppose it shows that the MTA is trying something.

I remain skeptical of anything and everything about the MTA, but we’ll see how quickly they can bring this new system into use.