"Limited Unlimited" Metro Cards, Starting 2011

The MTA is doing away with unlimited ride options, but keeping the name. As The Times put it yesterday:

And the authority intends to strain the English language, along with riders’ pocketbooks: limits could be placed on the so-called unlimited MetroCards, which offer monthly and weekly passes for the bus and subway system. The monthly pass, in turn, could cost about $100 a month, up from $89 today.[…] The “limited unlimited” plan, first reported by The New York Post, would cap the number of rides that can be taken on a monthly pass to about three a day, requiring heavier users of the system to pay more if they exceed the limit.

The change is certain to upset more than a few riders, but the MTA is trying to close a massive budget shortfall and has already been cutting services. “We are already providing less, there’s nothing left to do but charge you more” probably isn’t going to sit well as an explanation though.

This makes a big difference for how Weeels might be useful. Our homepage mentions finding a middle ground between a subway fare and the cost on an unshared cab ride, but for a lot of New Yorkers subway rides are free—or rather, an additional subway ride doesn’t cost any more per month. But now that there’s a cost to taking the train—either using up part of one’s monthly allotment or paying the additional fee for going over—the calculation changes a bit. A lot of people aren’t going to be pleased with that fact, but the important thing from our perspective is to ask: “given the alternatives available, how can we make them most efficient?”

Sharing rides seems like a good place to start. Download the app and give it a try!