New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) marked the completion of its year-and-a-half-long rollout of its OMNY contactless fare payment system that will ultimately replace the MetroCard completely in 2023. The completed installation of over 15,000 OMNY readers at all 472 stations, on all 5,800 buses, and at Staten Island Railway stations represents the culmination of the first major phase of the multi-year project.
Currently, customers can use OMNY to pay their fares by tapping contactless bank cards or smart devices equipped with digital wallets on OMNY readers. To continue to educate customers on the benefits of OMNY, the MTA is launching a new marketing campaign “Tap On, Get On” systemwide.
“I remain immensely proud of the MTA team responsible for bringing a truly modern fare payment system to all of our 5,800 buses and all 472 subway stations as well as to our partners at Cubic Transportation Systems for their great work,” said Al Putre, MTA OMNY Fare Payment Programs executive director at Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum station. “We endured a range of challenges, but stared down adversity every single time and got the job done. Not even a once-in-a-century pandemic could stop us from implementing a once-in-a-generation fare payment system."
Since OMNY was launched at a limited number of stations in late May of 2019, more than 35 million taps have been recorded with bank cards issued in 137 countries including the U.S. and 2.4 million unique payment credentials have been used in the OMNY system to date. OMNY currently accounts for over 10% of all taps in the system. A year ago, that figure was at over 4% and the figure is expected to grow considerably over the next year.
Beginning in 2021, 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 set to debut in 2021, 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.