It's been a long and storied road for everyone's beloved "MetroCard Gold" since it was first introduced in 1997. But the MTA is like a Woody Allen quote about sharks—it has to constantly move forward, or it'll die. And to that end, the MetroCard is officially selling out. Today, the MTA will start selling a new blue-colored card advertising The Gap, which reads “Be Bright NYC." Hmm, maybe they thought the slogan, "Fall Into The Gap," might send the wrong message?
The MTA is making no bones about why they are putting ads on the front of the iconic cards for the first time: “Opening up the front of MetroCards to advertising gives the MTA a new source of revenue,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Joseph J. Lhota. “We will monitor public acceptance of ads going forward to ensure that it doesn’t interfere with use of the transit system. There is no reason why the MTA shouldn’t put every resource it can toward helping its fragile finances.” And really, the MTA needs the cash—the more we can avoid price spikes, the better.
It's just too bad it's so gimmicky: according to a press release, the card "encourages New Yorkers to visit Gap’s newly remodeled flagship store at 34th Street and Broadway starting October 10, 2012." Customers who bring the MetroCard with them to any Gap store in the city are entitled to a 20% discount through November 18th. You may not get one so easily though: only about 10% of MetroCards sold throughout the system in a month will have the ad.
And on top of that, the cards are only being sold at 10 stations in Manhattan for now.
So you'll really have to go out of your way to get a discount on that oversized turtleneck of your dreams. Check out the full list of stations below.
- 14 St-Union Square L N Q R 4 5 6
- 34 St-Herald Square B D F M N Q R
- 34 St-Penn Station A C E
- 34 St-Penn Station 1 2 3
- 42 St-Grand Central S 4 5 6 7
- 59 St-Columbus Circle A B C D 1
- 59 St 4 5 6 / Lexington Av N Q R
- 86 St 4 5 6
- Lexington Av E M
- Times Square-42 St N Q R S 1 2 3 7