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Most NYC subway stations now have OMNY scanners to replace MetroCards

The MTA says it's on track to complete installation by the end of this year.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

A lot of us aren't taking the subway right now—ridership is down to 20 percent of pre-shutdown levels—but the MTA says its new OMNY readers can now be found at most subway stations across the city.

On Wednesday, the MTA announced that OMNY readers have been installed in two-thirds of the system's stations—that's 310 out of 472—meaning it's still on track to do away with the MetroCard by 2023.

Instead of swiping a card, OMNY allows you to simply tap your smart phone or smart watch (even a Fitbit) with a credit card account attached to it or a single contactless chip credit or debit card.

RECOMMENDED: Everything you need to know about using OMNY, the MetroCard replacement

The MTA says it has now equipped stations along the 4 and 5 lines, and that all but one station has received the scanners on the 2 and 3 lines. By the year's end, every subway station should be equipped with OMNY since installation was suspended for only six weeks due to Covid-19, the MTA says.

Here's the latest OMNY map:

Photograph: Courtesy MTA

So far, the system has recorded more than 16 million taps since launch last year, and the number of riders using OMNY has increased 168 percent since August 2019 and 50 percent since May this year. 

"We've maintained laser focus on this project since the day we launched the public pilot at the end of last May," OMNY Program Executive Al Putre said. "Not even a global pandemic can stop the OMNY express rollout. I'm eager to continue at maximum speed and complete the final third of this game-changing new fare payment system by the end of the year."

By then, hopefully, more of us will be back on the subway to use it.

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