NYC Subway System Goes Cardless

No more missing trains due to insufficient funds. No more slamming against the turn style because the swipe didn’t read. No more hunting around for your MetroCard. The NYC subway system has installed its tap-and-pay system in 16 stations along the 4, 5, and 6 lines. You simply tap your phone, credit, or debit card, and open sesame!

While this new system, called One Metro New York (OMNY), may be a welcome change for those who have embraced the digital age, it may very well cause consternation for those who have not. For the time being, MetroCards will still be accepted as OMNY extends to the rest of the NYC subway stations over the next year and a half, however the MTA projects that the project will be complete in October 2020 and MetroCards will be phased out by the summer of 2023. This should give you ample time to help your luddite friends and relatives figure out how to link their bank accounts or use the MTA app. If that’s all seeming too complex, the MTA will also have reloadable contactless cards available for purchase inside stations.

While OMNY will allow the MTA to mine data for valuable analytics that will help them optimize service in the future, each tap is encrypted, and the MTA vows they will not share data.

Photo: Marc A. Hermann, MTA

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