NYC Subway: MetroCard Math That’s Worth Doing, for Tourists and Locals Alike

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a fan of math, EXCEPT when it comes to money.  I know, I’ve had architects and math wizards try to sway me that geometry really IS useful, and yet I’m still not inclined to “find x”.  I’m pretty sure we have computers that can do that now.

But when it comes to money–that’s a different story.  There’s much more of an incentive there for me to use my brain, especially if it means more money in my pocket at the end of the day.

Which is why I’m posting a link to this eye-opening blog post on I Quant NY, about the proper way to purchase a MetroCard for the NYC subway system such that you won’t be stuck with a leftover balance.

The bottomline: when you buy a MetroCard from a kiosk machine, skip the first screen with its “convenient options” and choose “Other Amount’, then enter in $19.05,  and you’ll never have to worry about the dreaded “insufficent balance” warning again. The math behind this strategy is fully explained on the blog post, so I highly recommended reading the step-by-step instructions HERE.

Shame on the MTA for setting up their system in a way that cheats riders out of their money.  And kudos the I Quant NY for posting the solution to combat that system.

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