By N Miller
|OMNY Reader Demonstrator From May 2019|
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced last week that its OMNY fare payment system has now recorded more than 50 million taps. There are currently more than 15,000 OMNY readers at all 472 subway stations, on all 5,800 buses and at Staten Island Railway stations. Customers can use OMNY to pay their fares by a simple tap of their contactless credit card or mobile device. On an average weekday, the MTA receives 307,000 OMNY taps. Seventy-nine percent of those are at subway stations and the other 21% are on buses. The highest one-day tap total since OMNY was launched in May 2019 came on March 5, with 339,000 taps.
Beginning this year, customers will be able to purchase the OMNY card – a contactless fare card – at retail locations throughout the region. OMNY will also begin expanding fare options in 2021 with the introduction of reduced fares for senior customers and riders with disabilities and the integration with paratransit services. The card will eventually be available at vending machines in stations as well. Improvements to the digital experience are also set to debut this year, including a refresh of the OMNY website and the launch of the OMNY mobile app. These efforts will give customers additional flexibility and choice in where, when and how their fare is paid.
Al Putre, MTA OMNY Fare Payment Program Executive Director said this in a statement: “The OMNY team was able to complete the installation of readers at all subway stations and on all buses, and it is clearly paying off. Using OMNY is super convenient and easy, just Tap and Go, no waiting on lines or mis-swipes and it’s only going to get better with the introduction of more fare options and the OMNY card later this year.”
Down below is a brief history of the MTA fare payment system and the introduction of OMNY:
• The MetroCard was first tested in the system in 1993, debuting to the larger public in January 1994. All turnstiles were MetroCard-enabled by May 1997 and all buses began accepting it by the end of 1995. Tokens were sold until April 2003 and acceptance was discontinued that May in subway stations and that December on buses.
• OMNY readers accept contactless cards from companies such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, as well as digital wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and others.
• Following the completion of OMNY installation at all subway turnstiles and on buses, the MTA will gradually introduce all remaining fare options and programs, including reduced fares for seniors and customers with disabilities, student fares, and more.
• In 2021, the MTA will introduce an OMNY card at retail locations throughout the New York region.
• Also in 2021, the MTA will begin to install new vending machines at locations throughout the system.
• Only after OMNY is fully available everywhere MetroCard is today, expected in 2023, will the MTA say goodbye to the MetroCard.
• Purchasing fare with cash will remain an option. Additional info about OMNY is available at https://OMNY.info.