On June 1, 1993 the NYC Metro Transit Authority (MTA) handed out 3,000 sample MetroCards to regular subway commuters. Although the magnetic cards were not officially released until late 1993, the testing that began on June 1st was necessary to ensure a smooth transition from tokens.
It's hard to imagine now, but there was concern that customers would not be able to figure out this new system:
"This is going to be the biggest change in the culture of the subways since World War II, when the system was unified," said Jack Lusk, senior vice president for customer service at the Transit Authority. "We think the technology is working just fine. But it may take riders some getting used to."
Now that New Yorkers have figured the MetroCard, they are coming up with new and creative uses for them…like this Mona Lisa, made entirely from subway cards.
Every day, DVICE selects a fresh image from the wonderful world of technology. See them all by clicking this link.
Via New York Times