MTA comes to the customers

October 20, 2011 Heather Chin
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Twice a month, the large white van parks near the northwestcorner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue outside a produce storeand, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., waits. Pedestrians walk by,curious, staring at the giant image of MetroCard on the side. A fewwalk up to the sales window with money and paperwork, ready to getdown to business.

This is the MetroCard Mobile Sales van, also known as the MobileMTA. Its fleet travels around the five boroughs to sell and refillMetroCards, accept applications for reduced-fare cards, and selltemporary E-ZPasses.

Although the program has existed since 1996, New Yorkers are mostlyunaware of it, said Reginald Baron, director of mobile sales,customer relations and corporate communications, who was on 86thStreet on Friday, October 14, with an MTA camera crew to spread theword and produce a video segment for Brooklyn public accessTV.

Especially for seniors, we work with the Department for the Agingthrough the [Meals on Wheels] program, to introduce MetroCards toconsumers, said Baron, noting that the 2010 Census data shows anincrease in senior populations throughout the city. We sellMetroCards and also E-ZPass On The Go [because] the MTA is tryingto reduce cash lanes.

I just passed by and need a disability card with reduced fare,said Louis, an elderly Bay Ridge resident who saw the line onFriday and decided to wait. He later noted that his firstexperience was good.

Shampa, on the other hand, came all the way from Crown Heightsexpressly to help a friend apply for a reduced fare MetroCard. Icalled to find out [where and when they would be in Brooklyn], shesaid. This is the closest one for today. The next one is inNovember.

In Bay Ridge, the Mobile MTA comes on the second and fourth Fridaysof the month, at 95th Street and Fourth Avenue from 9 to 10 a.m.,and at 86th Street and Fourth Avenue from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.. Italso stops at 74th Street and Fifth Avenue on the first Monday ofevery month from 1 to 3 p.m.

In Bensonhurst, the van comes on the second and fourth Fridays from7 to 8 a.m. at 86th Street and Bay Parkway.

For a full schedule of stops, visit

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