2006_01_metrofob.jpgSpecial boon for the cross section of the population that are subway nerds and Citibank customers: Select Citibank customers in the NYC area will be chosen to try out the PayPass "contactless payment" system for some NYC subways! A few months after announcing that they would conduct a $44 million pilot test, the MTA revealed that the Lexington Avenue line in Manhattan, along with the Jay Street/Borough Hall A/C/F and 23rd Street Ely Avenue E/Vstops, will start seeing the PayPass for a six month trial. Some pitfalls: The keychain fobs won't let buses read transfers from subways and there will be no unlimited rides (though every sixth ride is free, on the $2 per ride fare system). What about Transitcheks?

Many people are excited about the change, because it'll hopefully stop Metrotardation. But you can expect some tourists to still use Metrocards - unless they have a PayPass. The PayPass system takes money out of debit or credit accounts, and has been used in various forms by many banks across the country, making its way to NYC more recently; Gothamist expects the MTA to open up this system to more banks and carriers and allow for Transitcheks and the like.

Would you be excited to try your PayPass on the MTA? And it took the MTA nine years to phase out the token - though we can't see the Metrocard being as collectable.