MetroCard to be phased out

Remember burning cassettes? No? That's because CDs took over. Don't remember CDs? That's because MP3s took over. For more than 20 years, the MTA has used the MetroCard but has decided it may be time for an upgrade.

After more than two decades, MTA is finally saying "It's not me -- it's you" and is getting ready to swipe left on MetroCards.

The MTA on Monday approved more than $500 million to bring in the next fare-payment system beginning late 2018.

That means we may start paying with smartphones. But what happens if your phone's battery dies?

The MTA has thought of that and is taking a run at other new technologies including smart chips on credit and debit cards or an optical device currently in testing and installed at a turnstile at Bowling Green.

"This design-build contract will provide the MTA with a state-of-the-art, integrated, reliable, and convenient fare-payment system to improve the customer experience," said Stephen Plochochi, an MTA VP.

With record breakdowns and system failures in the subways this year, it is nice to find a plan the MTA and riders are both looking forward to.

If you feel attached to your MetroCard, don't worry. The MTA said that even when the new technology is introduced, MetroCards will stay around for at least an additional five years.