February 23, 2012

N.Y. MTA launches cash fare reload pilot

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels launched its new "MTA Reload Card" in a pilot program that gives customers the freedom to add cash to their E-ZPass account at 2,500 retail stores throughout the New York region.

The card is designed to serve existing E-ZPass users who have cash-based accounts and to attract customers who haven't yet utilized E-ZPass because making cash payments to the account was not very convenient.

In the past E-ZPass customers had to go to one of three walk-in centers in Yonkers, Queens or Staten Island to add cash. Now it is as simple as going to one of thousands of Visa ReadyLink retail merchants throughout the city and across the country, presenting the MTA Reload Card and adding cash that will be directly transferred into an E-ZPass account.

The cost of the pilot program is minimal since it uses an existing network. "One of the key benefits of this program is that we did not have to build anything," said Bridges and Tunnels Chief Financial Officer Donald Spero. "Instead we are taking an existing private sector system, Visa Inc.'s Network (VisaNet), and adapting it to serve a public purpose."

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