MTA completes first phase of contactless payment system

MTA officials completed phase one for the rollout of MTA’s installation of a state-of-the-art, contactless fare payment system known as OMNY. The fare system is planned to ultimately replace the MetroCard by 2023, according to a press release.

Officials turned OMNY readers on in all Brooklyn and Queens bus routes which added to the already completed installation of over 15,000 OMNY readers at all 472 subway stations, on all 5,800 buses and at Staten Island Railway stations.

Currently, customers can use OMNY to pay their fares by tapping contactless bank cards or smart devices equipped with digital wallets on the OMNY readers.

OMNY was launched at a limited number of stations in late May of 2019, but it has recorded more than 35 million taps with bank cards issued in 137 countries including the U.S. and 2.4 million unique payment credentials. OMNY currently accounts for over 10% of all taps in the system and the figure is expected to grow considerably over the next year.

“The timing on this milestone could not be better,” Mario Péloquin, COO for the MTA said in the release. “Contactless payment is the future and thanks to the OMNY team, the MTA will be at the forefront of this trend. Customers returning in 2021 will have all the tools needed to have as seamless a commute as possible. The MTA team did incredible work to achieve this important milestone.”

Beginning in 2021, customers will be able to purchase the OMNY cards at retail locations throughout the region. OMNY will also begin expanding fare options in 2021 with 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.

Additionally, the MTA is launching a new marketing campaign “Tap On, Get On” systemwide to educate customers on the benefits of OMNY.