MetroWay is a Cradle to Cradle alternative to the current MTA card system, designed by Cody Miller, Daniel Penge, Carla Ramirez, Rebecca Travis, and Bryan Wong. The project received honorable mention in The Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge in partnership with Autodesk.

The Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Institute looks to place materials into endless, closed-loop cycles. These cycles of materials translate to the flow of commodities in a circular economy – a system which tries to effectively eliminate waste. What better place to exercise the Cradle to Cradle mentality and the principals of a circular economy than in the NYC Subway System? We have attempted to rethink the way in which users interact with traditional modes of transportation. As a conceptual redesign we are applying sustainable principles to a system which impacts 8.4 million people a day.

Product Lineup

The high-traffic commuter system of New York City inspired us to devise a thoughtful Cradle to Cradle product that emphasizes material choice, improves recovery of material stock, and instils regenerative solutions through a Circular Economic Model. Our proposal for the next generation of the MTA’s MetroCard, tilted the MetroWay, introduces a new manifesto for better manufacturing practices, and stands as an example of how Cradle to Cradle ideals could impact 7 million people on a daily basis.

exploded view with callouts

The MetroWay uses a contactless RFID/NFC tag that links to a personalized account where users add funds via internet, smartphone app, or the traditional MTA ticketing machine. By creating
a refillable pass, not incapacitated by the expiration of a magnetic strip, we extended the longevity of an object previously thought of as disposable. Through creative design thinking, we developed a method of assembly and disassembly, where strategic embossing and die cutting allow for the separation of materials into their individual nutrient cycles. Other contactless RFID/ NFC cards currently exist, but MetroWay introduces an innovative design that eliminates the permanent fusing of unlike material, rejecting a linear product model and monstrous hybrids.

strategic die cut with callouts

Click here to read the full project submission (pdf).


NextCity: This Inspiring Design Rethinks the Metrocard

Inside Pratt: Pratt Industrial Design Students Awarded Honorable Mention in Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge

Bustler: Emerging designers win in inaugural Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge

C2C Certified: Winners of the 2015 Product Design Challenge