A Way To Save The $52 M. Digital Dimes Left on Our Metrocards Each Year

metrochange A Way To Save The  $52 M. Digital Dimes Left on Our Metrocards Each Year

Mock up of the MetroChange

Have you ever seen folks standing by the Metrocard reader (the one that tells you how much is on the card, not the turnstile) just swiping card after card from a big pile. That’s because a lot of times people end up with a random chunk of spare change on their card, but end up throwing it away instead of refilling.

A group of students, Stepan Boltalin, Genevieve Hoffman and Paul May, from NYU’s ITP created a prototype for a system called MetroChange that lets straphangers donate that left over fare to charity. The trio points out that every year $52 million is lost on Metrocards people throw away. The problem has gotten so bad the MTA is introducing a $1 replacement fee in the new year.

The kiosk the group created also doubles as a recycling container for the depleted Metrocards. The group is looking for a partner, either the city or a charitable organization, to help them process the payments.

Here’s a video demonstration of how the MetroChange system might work. Thanks to Alexis Madrigal for spotting the project.

MetroChange from Genevieve Hoffman on Vimeo.


  1. MercuryPDX says:

    How is the $52 million lost? Doesn’t the MTA get to keep it?

  2. RetroCard Belt Buckle says:

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