2006_03_metrocardmachine.jpgGothamist would totally buy the Transformer for this: A Metrocard vending that can detect explosives! The Daily News reports that companies have developed Metrocard machines that can "detect riders who have recently handled explosives" - and then the machine would send an alert (take a picture, note what substance was detected) to authorities - and it can be wired to lock turnstiles. Wow - just think of what it'll do when people use stolen credit cards! The MTA says it's awaiting the results of testing, but the Daily News says the agency is interesting in the "merging of bomb-detecting, MetroCard and communications technology." Yes, it would probably be very helpful, but we'd be pretty worried when it didn't work - you know, like the machine detected that 75-cent sugar doughnut on our fingers and letting the police know we were off our diet. But it won't be too long until the MTA gets proposals for swipers and turnstiles that also detect explosives.

Cubic, one of the companies working on the technology, says the old Metrocard machines can be retrofitted to include the technology... we hope they will put special camouflage decals on them, to show they are fighting terror. And earlier this week, Metrocard machines weren't able to accept credit or ATM cards for a spell.