The MTA fare hike sucks but at least this new button will help you save money

Maybe you'll never even have to use one of these things again. via Flickr user Phil Hollenback

Maybe you’ll never even have to use one of these things again. via Flickr user Phil Hollenback

Did you sleep through the MTA fare hike? It was this past Saturday. Even if you haven’t already taken the $116.50 plunge, your number’s up this Sunday. We were all set to say the MTA was dead to us after this hike. But then they went and did something nice for a change that can actually help you save money! According to I Quant NY, the MTA has just added a button on the Metrocard selection screen for $27.25, which after exactly 11 rides would leave you with an empty card. It’s a small gesture, sure, but it can help you stop stranding your precious dollars and cents on unused cards.

Incidentally, I Quant NY is the same blog that once put out the viral tip on how to zero out your metrocard by loading it with $19.05. Maybe the MTA took notice, because they rolled out the new button on Saturday at the same time as the new fares — probably to cushion the blow and save face. Doesn’t exactly make up for the hike itself, but at least all those .30 cent metrocards you threw away can finally rest in peace.

Now the new button is nice and all, but don’t forget that you don’t need to use the MTA’s specific zero-out amount. You can always calculate how to land an empty card from most any balance by using the the NYC MetroCard calculator, which tells you exactly how much to put on your card to get down to zero. It’s a free online service! Doesn’t get more expensive over time, or get so overcrowded that it stops working, or ignore $2 billion of “unexpected funds” quietly squirreled away. Nope, doesn’t do any of that.