Who Buys Which Type of MetroCard?

Curious about exactly why the MTA decided to raise the price of the 30-day MetroCard but leave the base fare where it was at $2.25? We got our hands on the MTA’s demographic information about who uses each fare payment method on New York City Transit.

It’s nothing earth-shattering — with regards to the fare hikes, the relevant information is that people who use monthly passes have higher median incomes than people who buy single ride MetroCards or pay for bus rides with cash — but it’s interesting to see the data up close. For example, you can see that senior citizens disproportionately pay with cash or that New Yorkers with high incomes prefer a pay-per-ride MetroCard with the bonus to an unlimited pass.

MTA Demo Info

Anything that jumps out at you? Perhaps the biggest takeaway is that this probably represents a small fraction of the demographic information collected by the MTA. Think of all the data that hasn’t been released — like income levels of motorists who pay tolls at MTA crossings or the income and ethnicity of riders who used bus lines that got cut this year.

To get a better look at this data, you can download the PDF, which also includes some information on how many rides unlimited MetroCard holders actually take. You can also look at the 2008 travel survey from which this information was gathered in these two PDFs.