For 44 years it cost a five cents to ride a bus or subway and all riders needed to get on board was a nickel. When the fare rose to 10 cents in 1948, the city refit the turnstiles to accept dimes. In 1953, when the fare rose to 15 cents, engineers could not figure out how to make a turnstile operate with a dime and nickel or three nickels. To solve the problem, they devised their own 15-cent currency. That is how first token in New York city public transportation came to be. Here is an image of 1953 token:
On one side was the legend \”Good for One Fare,\” on the other \”New York City Transit Authority.\” In the center were the letters \”NYC\” with the \”Y\” cut out.\nThat token lasted 17 years, surviving a fare hike to 20 cents.\n\nIn 1970, a larger token, also with a \”Y\” cutout, debuted along with the 30-cent fare. Here is an image:
In 1979 in commemoration of 75-year anniversary of NYC subway system special token was minted:
In 1980 when the fare reached 60 cents, a solid token with a stamped \”Y\” replaced it. Here is an image:
In 1986 cost of a ride rose to $1 and the \”bull\’s eye\” token, which featured a round center plug made from gray metal, was introduced. Here is an image:
This \’bull eye\’ token has a sibling which is much harder to find: \’Archer Ave extension\’:
The last version of the token, with a cut-out pentagon, appeared with the $1.50 fare in 1995.