MTA Chairman E. Virgil Conway today accepted the Municipal Art Society's prestigious Certificate of Merit, which annually recognizes outstanding individuals, groups, and events that have made New York a more livable city, at a ceremony at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center on Staten Island.
The MTA was chosen for its revolutionary MetroCard fare collection system, and for its Subway Design Team, whose contributions have made vast aesthetic improvements to subway stations.
Chairman Conway said, "I am particularly pleased to accept this award because when I became chairman, bringing the MetroCard project to fruition. It has revolutionized travel throughout the region and has saved our riders hundreds of dollars a year. I am also pleased because today's award acknowledges the monumental efforts that have been made to rebuild and restore subway stations throughout our immense system."
The MetroCard automated fare collection system delivered on a promise of savings for customers including free transfers between subways and buses, volume discounts, and improved convenience. MetroCard is also credited with the record increases in subway and bus ridership, amounting to over 6.2 million people a day, levels not seen in more than 25 years.
The MTA Subway Design Team, comprised of MTA Arts for Transit and MTA New York City Transit's Capital Program Management group, Office of Station Design, and Technology group, creates consistently well designed subway stations. Together, they developed a set of station design guidelines which ensure each rehabilitation project would maintain the historic and architectural integrity of the station. The team is also responsible for such improvements as electronically advanced and visually pleasing turnstiles, artist-design system-wide gates and railings, and the new MetroCard Vending Machine.