70 years ago on July 25th, 1953
The subway system switches from coins to tokens
After New York state created the NYC Transit Authority to oversee buses and subways, fares increased to 15¢ (equivalent to about $1.44 today), and the turnstiles were retrofitted to accept tokens instead of coins.
Tokens of different designs and values would be sold through April 13, 2003, when the MetroCard was introduced.
The retirement of the MetroCard is quickly approaching, with the MTA planning to completely phase out the MetroCard by 2023 in favor of the new OMNY card, which stands for One Metro New York. The OMNY system will use cards with embedded chips or mobile phones with payment apps that only need to be waved over a card reader at the turnstile. The first card readers began testing on Staten Island buses and on the 4-5-6 between Grand Central and the Barclays Center, with the rollout scheduled to slowly expand across the MTA system through 2023.