M.T.A. launches ‘tap and pay’ system

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | New Yorkers can now use major credit cards and devices like iPhones, Android phones and Apple Watches to pay for subway rides at select stations.

On Fri., May 31, The Metropolitan Transportation Authority launched OMNY, a new system that allows riders to “tap and pay” fares for single rides by using “contactless” credit, debit or reloadable prepaid cards or mobile phones.

Contactless cards have a symbol on the front or back that looks like the image used to represent Wi-Fi, which riders can request from their bank or credit card company.

Straphangers can use their iPhones or Apple Watches to pay their fares through Apple Pay. Android phone users can pay through Google Pay.

Demonstrating using Google Pay to pay a subway fare at one of the new OMNY “tap and pay” turnstiles.

However, OMNY is not yet available in all subway stations. Passengers can currently only use it to board Staten Island buses and the 4, 5, and 6 train lines between Grand Central-42nd St. and Atlantic Ave.-Barclays Center.

The M.T.A. will expand OMNY, which stands for One Metro New York, to other lines throughout 2019. By late 2020, the M.T.A. expects that all riders will be able to use apps in their “digital wallet” on their phones to pay their fare at all subway stations.

The new system is expected to be a big help for visitors and tourists who may find the current MetroCard system confusing.

Passengers will also be able to pay for transit using the existing MetroCard system until 2023.

2 Responses to M.T.A. launches ‘tap and pay’ system

  1. Thank you for this article, but what will seniors do when most do not own a credit card, an iPhone, or a mobile phone?

  2. And even if we do, how will the system recognize our half-price senior fare?

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