Most of us still call them "token booths," so it's not too surprising that the workers inside can't help much with the newfangled MetroCards. Reporters for the Daily News approached three different token booth sseeking help with a defective MetroCard, and each time found MTA employees unable to help. Three's a trend! The tabloid also spoke with an unidentified Manhattan man who says he went to "six to 10 different booths" when a MetroCard he bought for his daughter failed. And not one of the clerks inside those booths could help in, or even offer a preaddressed, postage-paid envelope to mail in a request for a replacement MetroCard or refund.
"They stopped bringing them to the booth. You have to call the 800 number," said one station agent in Harlem at 125th Street and Lexington Avenue. Other clerks told the News their booths hadn't been restocked in two or three months. "You don't even know what to tell people," says Christine Williams at the Transport Workers Union Local 100. "Station agents are getting harassed, being told that they're lazy, that they don't want to do their job." A spokesperson for NYC Transit explains that the envelope drought was caused by a distribution "glitch," and that the booths will soon be fully stocked. The MTA has not yet responded to questions about this glitch, but, to be fair, we didn't send them a postage-paid envelope to reply with.