Subway and bus riders can load both unlimited passes and single ride fares onto the same MetroCard, according to the MTA. The change is designed to help straphangers avoid the $1 charge that will come with all new MetroCard purchases starting March 1st. The new cards will automatically draw from unlimited rides first, then begin using any available fare money once the 7- or 30-day period is up. The well-prepared among us would do well to load a few dollars onto our unlimited passes, if only to avoid the feeling of missing a train because of an expired card. The new card will also help out PATH train and express bus riders, who couldn’t previously use unlimited passes.

Unfortunately, the dreaded fare hike is still coming.