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News / City Life

Bye, MetroCard! The subway’s new contactless payment system is now here

Photograph: Courtesy MTA/Marc A. Hermann

Soon, you'll never have to worry about misplacing your MetroCard again. 

Never again will you have to anxiously swipe and re-swipe and swipe again in a fit of desperation. And never again will you be late to work because you spent an extra five minutes having to buy a new MetroCard since your current one has “insufficient funds.” (Even though you JUST REFILLED IT last week).

Starting today, the NYC subway system is going cardless and, oh boy, are we here for it. The new transit entry system, dubbed One Metro New York (OMNY), will be tap-and-pay, and it's already launched in 16 subway stations along the 4, 5 and 6 lines in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

This new system allows riders to pay their fare by easily tapping their phone, credit and debit cards (or even smart watches or other electronic devices) to the metro vestibule. The MTA states that the entire subway system will go live in October 2020 and subway cards will be entirely phased out by summer 2023. The new system can be linked to a bank account or the official MTA app. For those who don’t have access to a smartphone or credit/debit card, smart cards will be available for purchase inside subway stations.

Sorry MetroCards, but we’re just gonna love watching you leave!



Rickie W

How will travel to Long Island work on the bus in the new system?


Typical MTA, never thinking through something from beginning to end.  This should have STARTED on the BUS LINES, NOT on the subway lines.

For those of us who are UNFORTUNATE enough to have to ride MTA buses, let me educate you.  Imagine you took a train from your midtown Manhattan job to XYZ neighborhood in XYZ outer borough.  Now that you are off the train, you have to wait at the nearest bus stop (along with forty other commuters who got off that same train), for a bus to take you closer to your home.  During 'rush hour', you may have to stand there for up to ten minutes.

The bus finally arrives.  The FRONT DOOR ONLY opens.  Now all forty of you must board through the front door, OnebyOnebyOnebyOne.  Insert Metrocard.  Wait for machine to spit it back out.  Insert Metrocard.  Wait for machine to spit it back out.  FORTY TIMES this must occur.  And that's just at ONE bus stop!!!  Add in traffic lights.  Traffic jams.  Selfish double-parked cars.  Cars parked IN THE MTA BUS STOPS!  

Repeat this process at EVERY BUS STOP all the way to your home.  Riding MTA buses are an exercise in sheer torture.



We need PREPAID BOARDING on buses.

We need the DOT to DO THEIR JOB and manage traffic.  

We need the DOT to ticket double-parkers in outer boroughs.

Today riding the subway, I observed THREE escalators broken.

The MTA is one hot mess.  Big deal, so they add Tap and Pay in some stations.  In the big picture though, the system is still a huge disgrace.  Bus rides are torture.  Stations are crumbling and filthy.  Station booths have been removed.  No station reps to assist us.  P/A systems are broken and inaudible.  Signage in stations is one hot mess and confusing.  Tourists can't make heads or tails of this mess of a system.  Escalators and elevators constantly broken.  If you are a parent with a stroller, a shopper with big bags, a tourist with luggage, screw you!  You will have to manage on your own, up and down the stairs.

Where is the accountability?  Where is the oversight?