Everyone knows that moment…you swipe your MetroCard and walk down the stairs to the platform, and right away you know something is wrong. There are just way too many people down there.
Finally, after 5-10 minutes the announcement is made:
Due to a train stuck at ___ Street, there are currently no downtown _ trains. Please take an uptown train to __th and transfer there to a _.
Great. So what are you going to do? You either take the train uptown, or you leave the station, losing your fair, and walk to another nearby station (paying again) to take a different train….or else you hop in an Uber and head to your destination.
But your fare is lost. Now sure it’s only $2.75, but do that a few times a month and it starts to add up.
Now let’s take a peek at the DC Metro, where there is no “flat rate”, but rather you tap in and out and it charges you based on distance traveled.
But when they have train troubles, they tell you to just head back out and you will get a refund within 72 hours.
There is no way that New York City would ever give you a dime back, nor will any of the money you pay ever appear to pay for system upgrades…but we can always hope.