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What’s this?

This concept for “a charity donation platform using New York City subway cards” is a project from students at New York University’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. The idea is to capture the bits of monetary value that often remain on MetroCards but that are too insubstantial for many riders to bother with. The students envision a kiosk-like device where a rider can swipe their card and the remaining value gets transferred to a centralized charity fund.

It’s a nice idea. I haven’t been to a senior thesis show at ITP for several years, but this concept seems more sophisticated and less superficial than many of the others I’ve seen from that program. However, I have my doubts as to whether the Metropolitan Transit Authority is really looking to help its consumers direct those bits of remaining value to a charity fund. Given their seemingly chronic budget shortfalls, I can’t imagine the “lost” money isn’t already accounted for in their spending.

Anyway, find out more at There’s also lots of content about what went into the project at the accompanying blog.

  1. This is SUCH a good idea. The same should be done for gift cards, gift credit cards…. the amount of money left behind on those is staggering, and could be put to better use.

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