M.T.A., after rider fury, reschedules MetroCard maintenance to last only six hours

The M.T.A., after a public outcry over the shutdown of the credit/debit card function on MetroCard machines, during Super Bowl weekend, has rescheduled the maintenance to take place over just six hours this Saturday.

Last Wednesday, the agency gave only two days notice via social media that all of its MetroCard vending machines would not be accepting credit or debit cards from 11:45 p.m. on Friday night to 5:00 a.m. Monday morning. The upgrade was also originally planned to fall during the busy Super Bowl weekend, prompting immediate rider backlash. The agency then said it would postpone the upgrade a week, and would “work to shorten the process.”

Veronique Hakim, the agency’s Managing Director, said they had “reassessed the entire process,” in a statement, and were able to downsize the amount of time needed to perform the upgrade. According to the M.T.A., the migration will occur “centrally on mainframe computers,” and has to do with “reliability and security” and credit and debit card operations.

The agency did not respond to a request for comment to explain how it was able to shorten the length of shutdown.

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