Computer Glitch Informs Frustrated NYC Commuters They Don’t Have Enough Money To Ride

Whether you live in New York City and take public transit or are a straphanging commuter in another city, you know the ultimate frustration of swiping your card during the morning rush and having the system inform you that you’ve got “Insufficient Fare” and need to go add money. The screams of rage were even louder yesterday morning when a computer glitch messed with 10,000 commuters who otherwise thought they had plenty of money to ride.

The yowls and groans of about 10,000 New Yorkers rose yesterday morning, after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said a snafu had hit some MetroCards, prompting an error message when Long Island Rail Road Customers and Metro-North riders tried to use the cards for traveling on the city’s subways and buses, reports CBS New York.

“Because of a technical problem with the coding for the monthly unlimited MetroCards that are on the back side of the monthly tickets for Long Island Rail Road customers and Metro-North customers, the MetroCard portion is not working at turnstiles or on buses,” an MTA spokesman said.

In a city that’s already ticked off at Monday morning, that didn’t go over so well.

“I’m so angry,” one commuter in transit said. “I can’t go to work. I’m late.”

“I don’t feel very happy about it,” another said, while I’m sure various others were just seething in silent rage as they do on a daily basis anyway.

The “insufficient fare” message flashed for about 10,000 riders total, who first came into the city using LIRR or Metro-North trains. The MTA has since apologized.

“We recognize this is an inconvenience; we appreciate your patience and apologize for the error,” the MTA said.

Customers who weren’t able to snag a replacement card yesterday morning can buy new, unlimited 30-day MetroCards today and will not be charged for the other, defective cards. Riders will also get a credit for any other subway fare they had to purchase yesterday.

Glitch Hits Monthly LIRR, Metro-North MetroCard Users, Snarls Subway Access [CBS New York]

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