The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is planning to install an automated fare collection system by 2004.
Metal tokens will be replaced by smart cards at a cost of $120 million. The system is planned to be in place by July 2004 on subways and buses, and later expanded to ferries and commuter trains.
MBTA officials said they're discussing using the cards as automatic banking cards, student identification and workplace access cards.
Use of metal tokens in Boston is older than the system itself, as they were used as far back as 1837 for horse-drawn service.