How To Work the MTA Hikes: Put $22.30 on Your MetroCard

So, the fare hikes are coming. It’s too late to stop them: A single subway ride will now cost $2.75 instead of $2.50. But as any regular transit user knows, loading up your MetroCard with exactly enough for, say, ten rides is not as simple as multiplying the fare by ten. No, no: Thanks to the bonus system, you always end up with a bunch of spare change on your MetroCard, an extra 30 cents or $1.17 or some other completely useless amount. It’s not like you can get that back, either. It’s just stuck there, on your card. Now the bonuses are going up from five percent to eleven percent, confusing all that math further. So what are the magic numbers that you need to avoid this quandary? $22.30, $27.25, and $49.55

This math, helpfully worked out by the Village Voice, will ensure that you don’t have extra cents rolling around on your card, but it also presumes that you’re refilling an empty card. If you’re getting a new card, add a dollar to each of those amounts. You’re welcome. Don’t let the MTA get you down.


  1. But you can get all those random amounts of money at the end of a ‘finished’ metro card back…all you have to do is ask an MTA employee to combine multiple cards onto one and BAM! You miraculously have a card with $30+ fare on it.

  2. Don’t let the MTA get you down?
    $22.30, $27.25, and $49.55?
    Fares hikes?

    Submit to control.
    Men have become the tools of their tools.

    I don’t know if NYC at rush hour reminds me
    more of an ant colony or a bee hive
    — as we worker bugs scurry scurry scurry
    from our home-caves to our work-caves and back, and back again…
    Society. Ain’t it grand?
    It works, sort of, but for whom?

    I went to the woods
    because I wished to live deliberately,
    to front only the essential facts of life,
    and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
    and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
    Henry David Thoreau

  3. I don’t get it. These cards are reloadable. Doesn’t the old balance just get added to the new one? Why worry about this unless you plan on leaving new york and never coming back. These extra will eventually add up to a whole ride again if you keep using the same card.


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