Ask the MTA | MetroCard sales, Brooklyn bus lines and customer peeves

amNewYork Metro, in conjunction with the MTA, is proud to bring back “Ask the MTA,” a column where MTA officials answer your questions about transit service in New York City. If you have a question for the MTA about subways, buses, commuter trains and more, email askthemta[@]amny.com.

Q: It seems that MetroCards are only sold at vending machines in metro stations these days. Unfortunately, many people live far from a metro station, and it is difficult for them to go to the nearest station just for the purpose of reloading a MetroCard! Why don’t you install MetroCard machines at every bus station or at least at the most important stops? —Slava Negrimovskiy

A: We know it’s important for customers to have options to top up their MetroCards. New Yorkers who don’t live near subway stations can purchase one at select local merchants such as bodegas and grocery stores, to our mobile service vans and through employers who provide pre-tax transit benefits.

In recent years, many customers have also adopted OMNY, the contactless payment system that will eventually replace the MetroCard. OMNY readers have already been installed in all buses and metro stations. Passengers can use their own smart devices and contactless credit/debit cards to enter and enter the transit system, without worrying about a recharge again. Additionally, we recently started selling OMNY cards to a growing number of retailers, and new vending machines will be on the way to subway stations later this year for purchases and top-ups. Customers can also top up OMNY cards online through a registered account.

Q: Can something be done to remind people not to put their feet on the seats? I believe such signage appears on LIRR trains, so why not NYC buses and subways? —Jo-Ann M. Polise

A: We completely agree! The rules of conduct are displayed in each station, and we have also displayed this information on our digital screens. A new campaign reminding customers to ride with courtesy is in the works and we will share it in the coming months.

Q: Have you considered restoring the B51 bus line in Brooklyn? The B39 was quickly restored. This bus that goes from downtown to Lower Manhattan with limited stops should be revisited. —Annette McClean

A: We actually redesigned the entire bus system in Brooklyn. The goal is to take a fresh look at the borough, its residents, and their travel needs to deliver a new service plan better suited to Brooklyn in 2022 and beyond.

Every existing route is under the microscope as we seek to reduce wait times, speed up buses and improve reliability for our customers. As part of this work, we are studying the possibility of new routes that could create more direct connections between neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the MTA doesn’t have the resources to add as many new routes as some might want. there are tough choices to be made, that’s for sure. But at each stage, we focus on adding new links where we don’t already provide metro or bus service to maximize the impact for riders.

Note that once we release the draft Brooklyn Bus Network Redesign Proposal, it will not be final. We’ll invite the public to take a close look and give feedback.

Send us your questions at askthemta@amny.com.

Editor’s note: Due to an incredible response from our most previous Ask the MTA column, we were able to feature a new column this week with answers to some of the many questions you provided. Thanks for reading and keep asking these questions!