I was a little surprised this morning when I read in the New York Daily News that the transit system in New York is going to use smart cards in the subway. This makes for a good use but I have to wonder why the MTA would waste so much money.
I got to thinking and it makes sense to spend millions of dollars on a system that would not only be able to track you getting on the subway but it can also track what station you get off. That's right the station that you are getting off. Since they will probably convert all the existing turnstiles they can easily place a reader above the turnstile and track you on the way out.
The Metrocard system that is currently in place has been used to catch criminals so why not track what stops the criminal gets off. I can see a serial rapist being caught because he always got off at the same stop after an attack.
Another thing that it could and it probably would is employee tracking. Since all MTA employees use a metrocard to enter the transit system they could use this to enforce timekeeping and many other things that employees do like go to lunch etc.
Read more about MTA and RFID here