Tap & Go? MTA Will Soon Let Riders Test Out New Way to Pay Fare

Updated: Apr 23, 2019


NEW YORK - Transit riders will soon get the chance to ditch the swipe, and tap their way onto a train or bus. By the end of May, the MTA will begin its first large-scale test of its replacement for the MetroCard.  They're calling the system OMNY, for One Metro New York. "It will do everything that a MetroCard can do, and as we roll out the system it will be able to do more," Wayne Lydon, the director of fare payment programs for the MTA.

The MTA showcased the new technology at its monthly board meeting Wednesday.

These devices are being added to turnstiles in 16 stations along the four, five and six lines, from Grand Central station to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

All MTA buses on Staten Island will have them as well.

To tap into a subway station or bus, riders will need "contactless" debit or credit card, with a Wi-Fi symbol, or smart device, such as a phone or watch, linked to an account, known as a digital wallet.That means, no need to carry a MetroCard.

"If it's one less thing to carry, one less thing to lose, it just makes it easier for my daily commute," one rider said.

The tap-and-go technology is already used by transit systems around the world.

Visitors, like one rider from the San Francisco Bay area, say New York is behind on the tap trend.

"Awesome, it's easy," he said of his Clipper Card while waiting for a train at the Bowling Green subway station in lower Manhattan. "Today I had to swipe twice to get in. This one, I just tap and go in."

The MTA has done limited testing of the system at a small number of stations for a small pool of employees.

This week, the agency asked for more volunteers. eleven hundred workers, from executives to conductors, signed up for the expanded trial.

But don't throw out those MetroCards just yet - they'll be around until 2023.

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