For the first time, advertisers will have to opportunity to reach consumer by placing ads on NYC MetroCards. Not only does the new design offer an opportunity for advertisers, but an opportunity for the New York MTA to bring in extra cash. However, is the new design causing too much confusion among New Yorkers and tourist?
The new design was released this week and visitors found themselves struggling – Unsure which way to swipe the cards. The new design is missing the arrows running along the bottom, which indicated which way to swipe the card with instructions that said, “Insert this way/This side facing you.” Instead visitors and New Yorkers were looking at a Gap ad that takes up the entire card. You have to wonder if the advertisement is having a negative impact on the Gap brand. If people are frustrated trying to use the card, people might start to associate that frustration with the Gap ad.
Marie Crosetti was visiting the city with her daughter for the first time and expressed her confusion. “I looked this way and I did it this way, and I should have done it this way,” said Crosetti as she entered Grand Central Station on her way to see the attractions in NYC.
Crosetti’s daughter, Joann Monroe, agreed. “It made it extremely difficult.” Monroe said the cards need visual element with instructions regarding which way to swipe.
New Yorkers also find the new design confusing. The old design hadn’t changed for 15 years. According the MTA, the MetroCard design has remained virtually unaltered since 1997 when it was introduced.
New Yorker, Joshua Alvarez, 28, said he sees tourists struggling with the new cards, but he understands the MTA’s desire to bring in extra cash. “I guess they’re doing whatever it takes to get the money,” said Alvarez.
Aaron Donovan, a MTA spokesman, said the agency will monitor the situations. “We’ll continue to monitor and evaluate,” he said. “It’s an evolving program.”