Thursday, June 30, 2005

One card to ride them all

This certainly isn't the first time they've talked about it, and you have to keep in mind the glacial pace at which most transit systems change, but still ... Here's a sensational idea that's long overdue: a one fare card/"smart card" system for all of the region's subways, buses and trains, which was announced yesterday by the Port Authority of N.Y. & N.J. A basic agreement is expected to be signed later this summer between the MTA, NJ Transit and PATH, which is run by the bistate agency.

Getting these three systems on the same page would be a tremendous step forward, and it can't happen soon enough as far as I'm concerned. The different payment systems is a hassle for locals (especially those who travel throughout the tri-state area) and unnecessarily confusing for visitors. ("Can I use my PATH QuickCard the same as the MTA MetroCard or no? ... And why aren't the underground trains the Metro if it's a MetroCard?")

Someday, my friends, someday, the transit system will be as easy and satisfying to use as idealistic urban-planning students imagine it could be. Or not ...

No comments: