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Help with NYC transit

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I had not been in NYC for a few months and find bus ticket purchasing and use has changed. Here are my questions:
1. Are the machines at the bus stops to purchase only transfers? Are they at every bus stop?
2. I could use my transfer to go from the 34 W bus to a bus going south on 9th Ave. but not the 34E to a bus going north on Madison. What was different?
3. Can I still use coins to pay on the bus?
4. On my first trip, another commuter sent me to the subway to purchase a ticket...$9, which I could use for several trips. Can I refill that ticket and where?

5. I am a senior.....how do I purchase a card that offers the $1.25 price?

Thank you for any help. Other riders who said they live in the city seemed to be displeased with these changes.

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