The MTA is beginning its rollout of its new contactless payment system this weekend.
The new system, called OMNY (“One Metro New York”), will begin at noon Friday on the 4, 5 and 6 subway stations between Grand Central-42 Street and Atlantic Av-Barclays Center, and on Staten Island buses. Riders will be able to pay their fares by tapping their contactless credit/debit cards, or smartphones or wearable devices connected to a digital-wallet app.
OMNY honors the same free transfers between subway stations and buses as MetroCard, as long as those locations are OMNY-enabled. Riders planning to transfer at locations that aren’t OMNY-enabled should continue using MetroCards.
The OMNY system will at first be available only on a full-fare, pay-per-ride basis. By late 2020, when system will be available throughout the subway and bus system, other options will be added, including time-based passes, reduced fares, student fares.
OMNY will be installed for Long island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad in 2021.
The MTA will eventually issue a new contactless OMNY card for those who don’t use a contactless credit cards or smartphone, and by 2023, 29 years after it was first introduced, MetroCard will join tokens in the ash heap of transit history.
The MTA says cash options will always be available for riders who choose to use it.