All About the MetroCard: Tips from Arlo Hotel on the Fast and Inexpensive Way to Explore Manhattan

At Arlo Hotel, we know all about the $1 item that provides visitors with a way to explore all that Manhattan has to offer. We’re talking about the MetroCard, New York City’s famed subway, bus, and rail card that transports millions of locals and visitors. In 2017, more than 1.7 billion rides were taken on the New York City Subway. The MetroCard is a thin credit-card sized plastic card that has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) logo on the front and features unique numbers and an expiration date on the back. The card replaced tokens which were phased out in 2003, and the MetroCard itself is set for replacement with OMNY, a contactless payment system tied to payment cards, smartphones or contactless smart cards distributed by the MTA.

There are two modes for the MetroCard, known as “Regular” and “Unlimited Ride.” The two modes look the same physically (there’s one type of card), but they function differently. Regular cards mean fares are deducted per journey, while Unlimited Ride, as the name implies, features no limit on the number of rides taken in a timeframe. Riding the subway costs $2.75 for most riders, with reductions for disabled riders or those 65 years or older. Kids under 44 inches tall can also ride free with a fare-paying adult.

An Unlimited card is worth the expense if you know you’ll take multiple subway rides every day. The cards work for a certain length of time and are more convenient as you don’t need to worry about paying for individual rides. At Arlo Hotel we frequently recommend the MetroCard to our guests, along with using the MTA’s own app which provides dynamic route maps and other convenient information that will help guests get the most out of visit.

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