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News / City Life

Say goodbye to the MetroCard and hello to OMNY

Say goodbye to the MetroCard and hello to OMNY
Courtesy CC/Flickr/iamNigelMorris

New York is finally swiping left on subway swipes.

The MTA announced this week that the long-awaited contactless pay system that’s set to replace the MetroCard will be integrated into the system beginning this spring. That’s right, instead of swiping into the subway you’ll soon be waving. How cheery!

The new technology is called OMNY which sounds like a public library catalog or a vitamin delivery service but is, in fact, a 21st century transportation network pay method. It will be available to use in 16 subway stations on the 4, 5 and 6 lines between Grand Central and Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center (ant the SIM30 express bus route on Staten Island) in May.

OMNY (stands for “One Metro New York”) is being installed with the help of Cubic, the company behind the so-2000-and-late MetroCard as well as London’s Oyster card. As the contactless system is phased in over the coming years, the MetroCard will still work throughout the system with a set goal of phasing out the cards by 2023. An app that will allow riders to pay with their smartphones is currently in development.

“We believe that transportation is an essential service that connects communities and brings the diversity and energy of New York together,” said the MTA in a statement. “OMNY is the newest way to experience all that the region offers.”

That's all well and good, but has no one thought about the Supreme-obsessed masses? At least the branded MetroCards of yore are bound to become the collectors' item of tomorrow.




Moshe F. Not according to numerous other articles I've read on the rollout. This is from Gothamist: "OMNY's rollout excludes passengers without smartphones...(though MTA says that they will still accept cash, and, starting in 2021, they plan to offer a "contactless OMNY" that people can purchase)."

So it sounds like eventually there might be tap cards, but for the next two years at least the options are cash and smartphone. 

Moshe F

Debra G and Milton O, please relax. The smartphone app will be an OPTIONAL alternative to the card, probably similar to the Oyster card they've been using in London for years. You will NOT need a phone to ride the bus or subway, just an OMNYcard.

Debra G

I do not own a bloody smart phone like all of you conformists who suck up to what corporations shove down your throat.

I guess they do not need my money and I will not be riding the Metro..........I agree with Milton's comment,  Control......The future looks bleak to say the least.

Stephen A

@Debra G Well you're probably 90 and might not make it that long anyway.

Debra G

@Stephen A @Debra G Wrong,  I am 57 and I can call you a conformist.  Do you hold your smart phone to your ear? Keep it on in your pocket?  Sorry for you if you do, I guess you did not read the WARNING in your manual. 

Debra G

@Stephen A @Debra G I happen to be 57. Do you hold your phone to your ear and keep it on on your pocket? Sorry for you if you do. I guess you did not read the WARNING in your manual. Do you think these Corporations care if you get a brain tumor? They just want your money.  Wake up!

Chet C

@Debra G Your anger will kill you before any of us (and I'm 57 too) die because of our mobile phones.

If you read the entire article and the hundred or so other ones available online- there will be contactless card for purchase for those that don't want to use or don't have a cell phone. 

Beyond that, maybe you'd like if we just turned the clock back a few decades and went back to tokens?  Sorry Deb, things change and you have a choice- adapt or crawl into a cave.  This 1962 product has adapted.

Milton O


Milton O

This is bullshit and unethical