Riders can only buy MetroCards with cash between 1 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. as the MTA updates mainframe software, which affects every station including the PATH stations, JFK AirTrain and the machines at LaGuardia Airport, said spokeswoman Amanda Kwan.
"We don't expect it to take the full 8-and-a-half hours," she explained. "To be safe, in case the upgrade fails and we need to redo it, we’re allotting 8-and-a-half hours."
Credit and debit card-only machines will be down completely during that period, the MTA said.
The MTA scheduled the shutdown at that time because the agency anticipated low ridership.
"Not a lot of people are using the trains at that hour, let alone buying a MetroCard at that hour. We chose it because it would create the least amount of inconvenience," Kwan said.