If we can learn anything from Taylor Momsen’s character on Gossip Girl (known for atrociously showing up to her Upper East Side high school armed with only “a bagged lunch and a MetroCard”), it’s that only people who live in Brooklyn take the subway – like, ever. Obviously, those NYU students in their cushy and cozy (sometimes very, very cozy) East Village apartments roll out of bed and directly into a car service every morning, and have all of their food and other wordly needs delivered to them. So it is only those brave souls (seniors) amongst the NYU student body who are affected by the MTA’s decision not to refund unlimited MetroCards, rendered unusable for nearly 1/4 of their lifespans (in some areas) during Hurricane Sandy.
Due to the logistical nightmare that may ensue, neither 30-day ($104) nor 7-day ($29) MetroCards will be refunded, the New York Times reported yesterday. According to the Times, the last time MetroCards were refunded citywide was in the wake of the 2005 Transit Strike. After last years Tropical Storm Irene, unlimited train riders suffered a similar fate of non-reimbursement.
As some trains did begin working again on Thursday, November 1st, fares were waived for all riders. While the trains were far from fully functional (and it ended up taking another week for lines such as the L and G to become operational), riders were not being directly charged for this service.
Perhaps to be the holder of an unlimited MetroCard is something like taking a bet on the city and its mind-bogglingly complex transit system. For 30 days, you ride whenever you want, wherever you want, for as long as you want, accepting that sometimes the shit hits the fan and you have to take one for the team. We complain about our train a lot– oftentimes justifiably– but when you consider the utter miracle that it is to get from Brighton Beach to the Bronx for $2.25, you may want to think twice about cursing out Bloomberg under your breath the next time you’re stuck at Canal Street for ten minutes.