2

New York City MTA Subway alternative flows

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Expiration date and instructions only in Spanish !?

TL;DR

This post describes using Kipling method how I accidentally triggered alternative flow for New York City MTA Subway ride. Also, this first flow made me thinking about second alternative flow.

What is first problem?

I bought New York MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) card that is VALID for SEVEN DAYS. PERIOD starts when you use card for the FIRST time. I  could not ENTER the subway station.

Where is it happening?

At the SAME New York MTA Subway entrance.

When it is happening?

I swiped the MTA card and I could not pass the REVOLVING DOORS for the first time. I swiped again, and card was rejected with information: TRY AGAIN LATER. As I did not know HOW MUCH later, I swiped again and that just extended the period again.

Why is it happening?

Protection that MTA unlimited card could not be shared by more than ONE person.

How can you overcome this problem?

Wait for TIME period of 18 minutes.

Who do you need to get involved?

Read the MTA card instructions on the web.

Unlimited Ride cards cannot be shared by two people. In fact, there is an 18-minute delay at a given subway station between each swipe to prevent the card from being used by more than one person.

When will you know you have solved the problem?

Wait for 19 minutes and try again at the same station.

What is the second problem?

I do not know what happens after EXPIRATION period, my card would expire on 31 December of 2019. What if card expires but seven day period is still valid?

Where is it happening?

Anywhere.

When is it happening?

After 31st December of 2019.

Why is it happening?

Note that card has instructions only in Spanish, so using just only the card INFORMATION, I do not know what user story for expiration date.

How can you overcome this problem?

Lets check the MTA web page.

Has your MetroCard expired? Whether Pay-Per-Ride or Unlimited Ride, every MetroCard has an expiration date. The date is located at the upper left corner on the back of the card. The expiration date is usually about one year from the date of purchase. If your Pay-Per-Ride MetroCard expires, you have two years from the expiration date to transfer any remaining money to a new card. Within the first year after expiration, bring your expired card to any subway station and ask the agent to make the transfer. After that time, the expired MetroCard must be sent to MetroCard customer claims. Ask the station agent for a postage-paid Business Reply Envelope. MetroCard Customer Claims 130 Livingston Street Brooklyn, NY 11201

Ok, so I had UNLIMITED-RIDE (seven days of unlimited ride), and we have FOUR SCENARIOS:

  1. card with unlimited-ride period of seven days EXPIRED and card ITSELF EXPIRES. I make a CLAIM  WITHIN FIRST year AFTER EXPIRATION.
  2. card with unlimited-ride period of seven days EXPIRED and card ITSELF EXPIRES. I make a claim AFTER FIRST year AFTER EXPIRATION.
  3.  card with unlimited-ride period of seven days HAD NOT EXPIRED and card ITSELF EXPIRED. I make a CLAIM  WITHIN FIRST year AFTER EXPIRATION.
  4. card with unlimited-ride period of seven days HAD NOT EXPIRED and card ITSELF EXPIRED.I make a claim AFTER FIRST year AFTER EXPIRATION.

I would get my LEFT TIME PERIOD transferred only in cases three and four, but for case four I would need to wait more time for that transfer.

Who do you need to get involved?

MTA none official web page.

When will you know you have solved the problem?

After the 31st December of 2019.

Conclusion

And New York was my vacation :). Can you count number of problem KEYWORDS that I listed in UPPERCASE?


Also published on Medium.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Karlo Smid

2 Comments

  1. Also be aware that the USA may have a different definition of “expiry date” to Europe and the UK. European definition is midnight on the date of expiry – that is, the expiry day is the LAST day the card is valid. In the USA, the definition is midnight on the morning of the date of expiry – that is, the expiry day is the FIRST day the card is NOT valid.

    I came across this when working with an international team of developers and I could not understand why I kept reporting a bug where expiry was always one day early and it never got fixed. Neither did I ever get an explanation as to why they wouldn’t fix. I had to do some heavy research into the legal definitions of “expiry dates” before I could produce concrete evidence that there was a bug as far as a UK user was concerned.

    • Hi Robert, this is very important information, very context driven. Localization testing that could be easily missed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.