Government Works! Only 8 Weeks After Mailing in My Broken MetroCard I Got a New One

As a lesbian, I carry my keys on a carabiner in my right pocket. That way I can look cool and theoretically defend myself quickly (my rape whistle is on my keys, duh). In this same vein of thought, I don’t like to carry my MetroCard in my wallet because I don’t want to pull it out every time I get on the subway. Because thieves are clamoring for my wallet. So I generally carry it in my jacket or my back pocket.

The problem with this is that my keys poked a little hole in my MetroCard and eventually it stopped working. I found this out right after I had loaded $50 on it, and my train was rapidly approaching the station. The unhelpful little guy in the box tried it a few times and then shoved some paperwork in my hands with my still unusable card, so I had missed my train AND had to buy a new one. Nu uh, city government, you ain’t getting away with this!

So I just filled out the paperwork with my address the approximate amount on the card and why it wasn’t working. Also it’s free to send it!

I had almost completely forgotten about it and dismissed it as just more paperwork lost in the NYC municipal shuffle, but I checked my mail today and viola! A brand new card with 45 bucks on it!


Lib Tietjen lives in and knows everything about Brooklyn.

Figuring out Fares

In New York, the easiest and most affordable way to travel across the city is to take the subway, but it took me several months, if not more, to figure out if I was a pay-per-ride sort of person, or an unlimited-ride card straphanger.

Have a Swipe Give a Swipe Need a Swipe Take a Swipe

A group called Swipe Back! is encouraging unlimited metrocard users to swipe people into the subway on their way out to boycott fare increases.

A lot of people with ulimited metrocards already swipe strangers in every day because it’s a Good and Nice Thing To Do that costs $0 and is totally legal (it’s only illegal if you charge money for a swipe).

I do wish there was an easier way to show that you’re willing to do it, though. Swipe Back! has made buttons, but I was thinking more like a very long bright blue curly ribbon attached to your card. A party hat. A golden scarf. A secret hand signal. A tiny turtle pin on your lapel. Purple shoes. Patting your head and rubbing your belly simultaneously while exiting the subway. Or the old standby, trying to make eye contact with people loitering by the exits, in hopes they pick up on what I’m putting down and … ask me to swipe them in. (This has worked one time.)

What Do Those Lights Mean Does Anyone Know

Those lights on top of cabs in NYC that mean nothing right now (to me, others) are getting changed to just “ON” or “OFF” so that you will know—quite clearly!—whether the cab is “ON” or “OFF.” Helpful! But don’t get any ideas taxis are terrible take the bus what are you thinking.