Here's something you should take the over on: The MTA says it wants to implement new smart card fare payment technology for its family of services by 2014! Then again, it's not like it's building a Second Avenue Subway. In a Q&A (PDF) about its 2010-2014 Capital Plan, the MTA says that $220 million is dedicated to the program, which will "accept contactless credit, debit, and prepaid cards at the fare array (e.g., subway turnstiles, bus fareboxes, rail platforms). This system will speed payment, improve access to the system and provide opportunities for more seamless fare policy throughout the MTA region."
Contactless payment has been something the MTA has been considering for a while—it's been brought up since 2004 and $44 million was dedicated to it in 2005, resulting in the MTA-Citibank experiment with keyfobs. The new MTA Chairman & CEO Jay Walder is a big Smart Card fan—he brought the Oyster Card to London's Underground.