Starting today,MasterCard owners with the "PayPass" chip can use their credit cards instead of MetroCards to ride certain subways and busses in the city.
Because the motion for that particular credit card is a "tap" instead of a "swipe," Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee Executive Director William Henderson believes these "smart cards" will save time.
Part of a project by MTA chairman Jay Walder to potentially phase out MetroCards, several bus routes have already been outfitted with "smart card" readers, including: M14, M23, M79, M86, M101, M102, M103 and BxM7, NJ Transit rouites 6, 80, and 87, and most PATH entrances.
The program, technically still in its testing phase, has already proved popular. According to the Port Authority, fifty percent of all payments on PATH are via smartcards.
Starting August 1, Visa cards with a similar chip, as well as key chain tag credit and debit cards, and certain types of cell phones will also be swipable in NYC subways and busses in place of MetroCards.
Another option the MTA is considering is the "EasyPay" card, a magnetic swipe card like the current MetroCard which can be replenished via credit card online. Currently 125,000 people use various types of this card, the MTA said.
Walder developed a smartcard called Oyster Card while he worked at London's transit agency, and when he became MTA chairman in October 2009, smartcard development was one of his main goals.
For more on how to use the cards, tap -- or click -- here.