One day, your phone running out of power could leave you stranded in NYC.

The NYC MTA is working to phase out our old subway cards (which replaced subway tokens) in the next five years, so people will be able to use their smartphones, key chains, or credit cards to tap their way to their train. The MetroCard is twenty years old this year, and in the next 12 months, the MTA will spend close to $6 million to produce 80 million cards for New Yorkers and tourists. That's a hell of a lot of cards. So the plan, which the MTA hopes to have ready by 2019, will help cut down the production of cards, save the MTA money, and save passengers some time. Being able to purchase your cards through your smartphone will spare travelers a BIG HEADACHE when that monthly subway card unexpectedly ends. The MTA already put on a trial that used smartphones to purchase Metro-North Railroad tickets in 2012.

[via Skift]