Use MetroCards for Multiple Riders

Is it possible to use Metrocards for multiple riders? Well, it all depends on what you have in your wallet or purse so read below to see what to buy and how to use.

Emergency Services MetroCards
These are special FDNY Passes or NYPD Passes (which are white and say NYPD in blue or FDNY in red) that can only be used as long as the holder is performing service to the community. Use by those who are not the original bearer can subject them to fine and/or arrest for fraudulent use and stolen property.

Pay Per Ride MetroCards
Unlike the Unlimited Ride MetroCards, Pay Per Ride MetroCards can be shared up to four (4) people and be used on the PATH trains making it a choice for most group riders. After the fourth swipe of the MetroCard, the card will be locked out of the system for approximately eighteen (18) minutes.

Student MetroCards
Student MetroCards are only for use by the student to whom it was issued and whose name is written on the card. These MetroCards are good for travel to and from school and school-related activities between 5:30AM and 8:30PM. Using it at 8:45PM (or 5:15AM) could cause problems for you so have some change handy to avoid a fine for fare evasion.

Unlimited Ride MetroCards
Do you have Unlimited Ride MetroCards? Unfortunately, the unlimited ride MetroCard can not be shared or used on the PATH trains and each person has to purchase their own Metrocard for travel. Once an unlimited ride Metrocard is used, it is locked out for approximately eighteen (18) minutes at that station (or bus line) and any use during this period of time, the rider swiping will be prompted with a message indicating that the Metrocard had already been used.

Local MTA MetroCard Merchants
If you need to get your hands on MetroCards, they are available at machines and local MTA Metrocard merchants in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, New Jersey and the counties or Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester. If you are in New Jersey, you can pick them up in Jersey City (3 locations) at Journal Square.

The MTA’s Fare Evasion penalty has increased from US$60.00  to US$100. The increase, the first in 20 years, was unanimously approved by the full MTA Board at its June 25, 2008 meeting as has been in effect since Monday, July 7th, 2008. Offenders who are caught are subject to a summons and/or arrest which is punishable under the laws of New York and New Jersey under code 1050.4 of the MTA NYC Transit’s Rules of Conduct.

Credit Cards
Are you an International visitor? When a non-USA or foreign credit card is used at an MetroCard Vending Machine, the MVM will ask you to enter your zip code for verification.  However, if your credit card account has a billing address outside of the United States, you are not subject to the zip code verification requirement.  Instead, type in “99999” when prompted for a zip code.  This will indicate to the MVM that an international credit card is being used, and the regular transaction authorization process will still take place.

Not sure how to purchase a MetroCard? Check out the ‘How to Buy a Metrocard‘ video on YouTube.

Join us in our New York Forum if you have any comments or questions.

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About The Author: Stephan Pringle is an Information Technology Specialist. He covers hardware and software and provide tips for you to troubleshoot and repair issues on your own. In his spare time, he writes articles about the State of New York and is the top contributor of the New York City section of Yahoo! Answers.

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