10/08/2012 12:09 pm ET

MetroCard Ads: MTA Debuts Front-Facing Advertising With Gap Coupon (IMAGE)

As expected, the perpetually cash-strapped MTA introduced front-facing advertisements on city MetroCards this week.

Gap became the first retailer to snatch up the advertising space with a slogan reading "Be Bright NYC." The cards also double as coupons for 20 percent discounts on Gap merchandise.

Although the MTA has sold ad space on the back of cards since 1995, Sunday's move marks the first time the valuable front space is available for purchase.

The MTA released a statement on Sunday touting the new look as a "historic" moment. MTA Chief Jay Lhota said, "Opening up the front of MetroCards to advertising gives the MTA a new source of revenue. We will monitor public acceptance of ads going forward to ensure that it doesn't interfere with use of the transit system. There is no reason why the MTA shouldn't put every resource it can toward helping its fragile finances."

As if there wasn't enough advertising plastered throughout New York. But perhaps the new revenue stream will convince the MTA to skip a 2013 fare hike? Highly unlikely but there's always hope.

Want to get your hands on the new cards/coupons? Snatch them at the following stations:

  • 14 St-Union Square L N Q R 4 5 6
  • 34 St-Herald Square B D F M N Q R
  • 34 St-Penn Station A C E
  • 34 St-Penn Station 1 2 3
  • 42 St-Grand Central S 4 5 6 7
  • 59 St-Columbus Circle A B C D 1
  • 59 St 4 5 6 / Lexington Av N Q R
  • 86 St 4 5 6
  • Lexington Av E M
  • Times Square-42 St N Q R S 1 2 3 7