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MTA To Phase Out MetroCards For New Payment System

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — MetroCards could soon be a thing of the past as part of a new Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to modernize how we pay for public transportation in New York City.

An MTA committee on Monday approved a $573 million contract for a new payment system.

Instead of riders swiping their MetroCards, the new system will allow them to use their cellphones or certain types of debit or credit cards to pay their fares directly at turnstiles.

The full MTA board will vote to approve the bid on Wednesday.

The new payment system would begin in 2019 with the creation of a website and installation of contactless readers at 500 subway turnstiles and 600 buses.

By 2020, all subways and buses will adopt the more modern payment system. Officials say the plan is to fully retire the MetroCard by 2023. Until then, riders will still be able to use it.

The contract was awarded to Cubic Transportation Systems, the same company which developed the MetroCard and has rolled out the contactless payment program on the mass transit system in London.

MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota says the changes will bring the way passengers pay into the 21st century.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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