MTA Releases OMNY Cards as New Way to Pay for Public Transit: Without Swiping
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has released OMNY cards that are plastic, credit card-like alternatives to Metrocards, which have been in use since the 1990s, when tokens were replaced.
OMNY stands for One Metro New York, and the cards cost $5, as opposed to $1 Metrocards.
The new higher tech subway ticket offers commuters the option to reload online, instead of just at subway stations and to “tap and go” their cards, so subway riders don’t have to swipe and touch anything on the turnstyles.
Subway riders who want to put more money on their OMNY cards with cash or credit can do so at select retail locations.
The new OMNY system also can be accessed without the $5 cards, and instead, on smartphones for free through Apple Pay, Apple Cash and digital wallets.
“Tap and go means no more swipes, no more losing your MetroCard,” former Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg said when announcing that every bus and subway turnstile in NYC had been equipped with the OMNY payment system. “Just bring your own device and you can enter the system with ease.”
While Metrocards offer weekly and monthly discounts, so far, the OMNY card is initially only offering a payment option per-ride, although the MTA plans to provide more OMNY fare purchasing options within the year.
All 472 subway stops in the city are now equipped with OMNY readers at turnstyles, which can also take Metrocards. Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, which already allow mobile payments, are set to become OMNY-enabled in 2022.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit