Quite possibly the finest thing to happen to the NYC Subway system
since they replaced all the 1/9 cars with sliced bread
A MetroCard is essentially a substitute for the old, everyday tokens - turning your previously hohum existence into an explosion of post-modern giddiness as you swipe and swipe and swipe your way to ride after ride of blistering hot stations and bumpy, jolting, crowded, smelly rides while you hope the girl/boy/man/woman eating the egg salad next to you doesn't have an accident.
If you're a dolt, the fare hasn't changed one bit for you, but if you're a savvy consumer you quickly and enthusiastically joined the ranks of the unlimited riders, paying $17 for 7 days or $63 for 30. Even the tourists win big here in The Big Apple with the MetroCard FunPass - an exciting one day extravaganza of sites and sounds.
Perhaps most importantly, an unlimited ride MetroCard offers the budding capitalist the opportunity to stand around the turn styles and sell rides for $1 a pop. It might not seem like much to you now, considering the cards can't be used for a decent bit of time after their last use, but hey - prostitute your piece of plastic 17 times a week and that baby's FREE..