Who knew a small typo could cost a quarter of a million dollars -- or more -- to reverse? Just days after a subway fare hike went into effect in New York City, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of NYC threw away $250,000 in subway maps that displayed a typo in the fare.
According to the New York Post, the MTA disposed of an estimated $250,000 of newly printed subway maps because they displayed the old fare before the hike went into effect. The erroneous maps show the minimum price for a pay-per-ride card as $4.50 instead of $5, which went into effect March 1.
The Transit Workers Union Local 100 said about 80,000 incorrect maps were printed, which totaled an estimated $250,000. However, an MTA spokesman told the Post that he was unable to “get a figure” on the exact amount of maps and their cost.
“They weren’t coming out with a new map because they were changing the map. They were coming out with a new map because they were changing the price,” MTA station agent and union leader Paul Flores said. “That was the sole purpose. And they couldn’t even get that right.”
The Post reported MTA agents were scrambling to discontinue distribution of the maps, with workers buzzing each other over intercoms.
“They’re very embarrassed about this,” an unnamed source told the Post. “They were frantically calling the booths trying to get these maps back.”
An MTA employee in Brooklyn told The Post “it was an urgent message: Please don’t issue any maps to the customers,” adding the wasted money is “mind-boggling.”
An MTA spokesperson said that only two boxes of maps were distributed, but many were removed from the stations before seeing the light of day. A source said corrected maps will debut around March 15.
Meanwhile, New York City commuters are still enraged by the fare hike, which went into effect this month. The new fare pricing brought monthly unlimited-ride MetroCards to $112 from $104, weekly cards from $29 to $30 and regular fair for subways and buses to $2.50 from $2.25. In addition, for every new MetroCard purchased, a $1 fee is tacked on and pay-per-ride bonuses decreased by 2 percent.
The MTA said it is “raising fares and tolls because our costs for employee health care, pension contributions, mandatory paratransit service, energy and other costs out of our control are rising far faster than the rate of inflation.”