Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a likely mayoral candidate in 2013, repeatedly slammed the MTA Sunday over its "disgraceful" delays in sending replacement MetroCards to seniors and straphangers with disabilities whose cards are lost or stolen.

Stringer said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority should quickly issue temporary replacement cards to these riders, who pay reduced fares. He said these people now wait months to get a new card.

In the meantime, he said, "they have to either pay the higher fare, or they have to suffer the indignity of a bureaucratic MTA system."

MTA spokesman Charles Seaton said the agency recently hired extra workers "to deal with a backlog of claims" and hopes to begin responding in less than six weeks. The agency gets about 35,000 claims each month; 8,000 are tied to reduced fare.

Seaton added that following Stringer's suggestions "would only add another level of production and prolong the time it takes to replace a card."

"The hundreds of employees at the MTA should maybe stop shuffling a little paper," Stringer said. They should "actually get into the service side of this. . . . They certainly have enough MTA bureaucrats to talk about raising fares and cutting services."

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