MTA Makes MetroCard<sup>&reg;</sup> Refills Easier

On Monday, February 25, MTA New York City Transit brings FASTRACK to Upper Manhattan on the A Subway Line.  There will be no service on the A Subway between 168th Street and 207th Street from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m., for four consecutive weeknights from Monday, February 25 to early Friday morning, March 1.  A Subway trains will operate between Lefferts Blvd/Howard Beach and 168th Street.

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MetroCards can now be refilled with a combination of both unlimited-ride time and pay-per-ride dollar values. This means customers can always refill their existing MetroCards instead of having to buy new ones.


MetroCard Gold image

Customers who hold unlimited-ride MetroCards, such as a 7-day, or 30-day or 7-Day Express Bus Plus pass, can now refill them by adding a dollar value, which will be used to pay per ride once their unlimited time expires.


Customers who hold pay-per-ride MetroCards can now refill them with 7-Day, 30-Day, or 7-Day Express Bus Plus passes. The Pass will be activated on the next use, and will continue until it expires, at which time the dollar value will be available again to pay per ride.

All MetroCard Vending Machines are now able to process both types of refills, allowing customers to refill their cards instead of throwing away cards that have run out of time or value.

The change comes in advance of the new $1 New Card Fee the MTA will begin charging March 3 for the purchase of a new MetroCard. This means customers will not have to pay the fee if they change the type of MetroCard they use.

“This card is the most flexible MetroCard ever offered and the best way to avoid paying the $1 New Card Fee by refilling and reusing your current card,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Thomas F. Prendergast. “We produce almost 160 million MetroCards each year at an annual cost of nearly $10 million. Many of the cards often end up as litter in the system, so by refilling your MetroCard, you’ll reduce expenses and help the environment.”

A MetroCard that holds both dollar value and unlimited ride time will use the unlimited time first. The dollar balance remains on the card to be available again once the unlimited time on that card expires. Also, each MetroCard can hold one additional refill of unlimited ride time that will take effect once the first unlimited period expires.

The new card provides the added flexibility for customers who now only need one MetroCard throughout the region. If you have an active Unlimited Ride pass with dollar value added to it and want to use an express bus, the PATH system or AirTrain, the value on the card will be available to pay for your additional fare.

MetroCards can be refilled with time and value before the expiration date printed on the card for about a year. If the card is about to expire or is recently expired, the MetroCard Vending Machine will offer the customer a new MetroCard with the same time and value on it at no charge. You can also visit any station service booth, where an agent can perform these transactions.

The $1 New Card Fee will not apply to people who buy MetroCards from vendors outside the subway system, reduced fare customers, users of EasyPayXpress, transit benefit organization customers who get MetroCards directly from employers or their benefit providers, and customers who purchase a combination railroad/MetroCard ticket.

Three simple rules for refilling your MetroCard

  1. When you purchase a 7-Day or 30-Day Unlimited Ride Pass, it will be activated the next time you use your Card;
  2. As soon as you’ve activated your Pass, you can refill your card with a second one, of either duration, to be used after your current Pass expires;
  3. You can refill your Card with Pay-per-Ride Value at any time. It will be available for use whenever there’s not a Pass on your card.

For example, if you have $5 in value remaining on your MetroCard and add a 7-day unlimited ride pass, the next time you use your card, it will activate the unlimited rides and the $5 value will only become available when the 7-day time period expires. Note again however, that if a customer wants to access locations where a 7-Day pass is not accepted such as express buses, PATH or AirTrain stations, the appropriate fare will be deducted, as long as there is enough monetary value on the card.

Refilling is easy at MetroCard Vending Machines:

  • At the MVM, select “MetroCard;”
  • Then select “Refill your Card;”
  • Insert your MetroCard;
  • The MVM will show you exactly what amount of time and/or value is on the card;
  • Select “Add Value” or “Add Time” and follow the instructions. That’s it!

Look for a brochure at any station for addition information.