The new fee was approved last year. It's designed to stop straphangers from tossing their cards as the MTA seeks to reduce manufacturing costs. It was supposed to start this yea, but an MTA spokesman says it's taking longer than expected to re-program all the vending machines.
Users getting new cards through employee programs or because of damaged or expired cards won't have to pay the fee.
Officials on Wednesday put forth a plan aimed at closing a $9 billion gap in the capital budget.
The idea is to reduce MTA expenses on production, sales and cleanup. And if you add up the savings and the boost in revenue, the MTA stands to gain $20 million.