OMNY (OM-nee, short for One Metro New York) is a contactless fare payment system, currently being implemented for use on public transit in New York City and the surrounding area. When OMNY is completely rolled out, it will replace the MetroCard on the New York City Subway, the Staten Island Railway, PATH trains, MTA buses, Bee-Line buses, and NICE buses. OMNY will also expand beyond the current scope of the MetroCard to the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.
|Location||New York City, United States|
|Launched||May 31, 2019|
|Operator||Cubic Transportation Systems|
|Manager||Metropolitan Transportation Authority|
|Currency||United States dollar|
The MetroCard, a magnetic stripe card, was first introduced in 1992 and was used to pay fares on MTA subways and buses, as well as on other networks such as the PATH train. Two limited contactless-payment trials were conducted around the New York City area in 2006 and in 2010. However, formal planning for a full replacement of the MetroCard did not start until 2016.
The OMNY system is designed by San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems, using technology licensed from Transport for London's Oyster card. OMNY began its public rollout in May 2019, with contactless bank cards and mobile payments accepted at select subway stations and on buses in Staten Island. Full implementation is expected by 2023.
Previous fare mediaEdit
Subway tokens had been used as the MTA subway and bus systems' form of fare payment since the 1950s. MetroCards made by Cubic Transportation Systems started to replace the tokens in 1992; the MetroCards used magnetic stripes to encode the fare payment. By 2003, the MetroCard was the exclusive method of fare payment systemwide.
Payment system trialsEdit
MasterCard and Citibank funded a trial of contactless payments, branded as PayPass. The trial was conducted at 25 subway stations, mostly on the IRT Lexington Avenue Line,[a] beginning in July 2006. The trial was limited to select Citibank cardholders, but it proved popular enough to be extended past its original end date of December 2006.
In light of the success of the first contactless payment trial in 2006, another trial was conducted from June to November 2010. The 2010 trial initially only supported MasterCard-branded cards, expanding to Visa PayWave cards in August. The 2010 trial eventually expanded to include multiple Manhattan bus routes, two New Jersey Transit bus routes, and most PATH stations.[b]
In 2016, the MTA announced that it would begin designing a new contactless fare payment system to replace the MetroCard. The replacement system was initially planned for partial implementation in 2018 and full implementation by 2022. In October 2017, the MTA started installing eTix-compatible electronic ticketing turnstiles in 14 stations in Manhattan. The eTix system, already used on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad, allows passengers to pay their fares using their phones. The system would originally be for MTA employees only.
On October 23, 2017, it was announced that the MetroCard would be phased out and replaced by a contactless fare payment system also by Cubic, with fare payment being made using Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, debit/credit cards with near-field communication enabled, or radio-frequency identification cards. The announcement called for a phased rollout, culminating in the discontinuation of the MetroCard by 2023. The replacement fare system was criticized because the new turnstiles could be hacked, thereby leaving credit card and phone information vulnerable to theft.
In June 2018, the MTA revised the timeline for implementation of the then-unnamed new payment system. The first stage of implementation would take place in May 2019. All subway stations would receive OMNY readers by October 2020, in preparation for the launch of a prepaid OMNY card by February 2021.:13 OMNY vending machines would be installed by March 2022,:13 and the MetroCard would be discontinued in 2023.
Initially, there were disagreements about what the payment system should be called; some executives wanted a "traditional" name that resembled the MetroCard's name, while others wanted more unusual names. Possible names included "MetroTap", "Tony", "Liberty" and "Pretzel". The name "OMNY" was eventually chosen as being "modern and universal". The OMNY name was announced in February 2019. "OMNY" is an acronym of "One Metro New York," intended to signify its eventual broad acceptance across the New York metropolitan area.
An internal trial launched in March 2019, involving over 1,100 MTA employees and 300 other participants. Over 1,200 readers were installed in subway stations and buses for the public trial, and the OMNY.info website was created.:14–15 Weeks before the beginning of the public launched, $85.4 million had been spent on the project, out of a total budget of $644.7 million.:14 OMNY launched to the public on May 31, 2019 on Staten Island buses and at 16 subway stations.[c] At first, OMNY only supported single-ride fares paid with contactless bank cards; mobile payments such as Apple Pay and Google Pay were also accepted, and free transfers between OMNY-enabled routes were available with the same transfer restrictions placed upon the MetroCard. In June and July 2019, Mastercard offered "Fareback Fridays" to promote the system, where it would refund up to two rides made using OMNY on Fridays. The OMNY system reached one million uses within its first 10 weeks and two million uses within 16 weeks.:58 On one day in June, 18,000 taps were recorded from bank cards issued in 82 countries.
In November 2019, the MTA announced its first expansion. Over the following month, 48 additional stations would be outfitted with OMNY readers the following month, thereby bringing the system to all five boroughs,[d] and by January 2020 the system would then be expanded to Manhattan bus routes.:57 Furthermore, the MTA would begin launching pilot programs on Select Bus Service, the city's bus rapid transit system, and add self-service features.:60 By then, over 3 million riders with bank cards from 111 countries had used OMNY.:58 According to an internal MTA report, these riders had used over 460,000 unique payment methods between them, or about 2,000 new payment methods per day.:58 In January 2020, MTA officials announced that OMNY had seen its 5-millionth use, and also that it would expand to 60 more subway stations by the end of the month.[d] In addition, the MTA launched a marketing campaign for OMNY. After another expansion the next month, there were over 180 OMNY-equipped stations and OMNY had been used over 7 million times. This grew to 10 million uses by the time yet another expansion was announced in March. However, in late March 2020, the remaining OMNY installations were postponed until June due to the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City.
At a presentation in May 2019, the MTA's Capital Program Oversight Committee specified the following items to be implemented at an unspecified future date: launch a mobile app, add OMNY readers to Access-a-Ride paratransit vehicles, and add readers on Select Bus Service buses to support all-door boarding.:17 However, the committee expressed concerns that some bank cards would not be accepted, and that OMNY transactions could take longer than MetroCard transactions, increasing crowding at turnstiles.:21' Unlimited ride options will be available sometime between late 2020 and February 2021, while additional stations will be announced at the middle of every month until all stations have OMNY readers. All-door boarding at Select Bus Service routes with OMNY would begin sometime in early 2020.
As of 2019[update], the MTA also plans to use OMNY in the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad over "the next several years". In June 2019, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced it was in talks with the MTA to implement OMNY on the PATH by 2022. There are no plans for OMNY to be used on NJ Transit, which plans to implement another new fare payment system with a different contractor.
The oversight group Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) has stated concerns about the lack of privacy regulation in the OMNY system, specifically that trip data may be used by the New York City Police Department for police surveillance or might be shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to track undocumented immigrants.
In February 2020, the MTA warned that some customers using Apple Pay's Express Transit feature might be accidentally double-charged if they were using a MetroCard. This occurred when riders unintentionally had their phones in proximity to the OMNY readers. At that point, the issue was relatively rare, having been reported 30 times.
- The following subway stations participated in the 2006 trial:
- The following bus routes and subway stations participated in the 2010 trial:
- the IRT Lexington Avenue Line (4, 5, 6, and <6> trains) from 138th Street–Grand Concourse or Third Avenue–138th Street stations in the Bronx to Borough Hall station in Brooklyn,
- the M14, M23, M79, M86, M101, M102, M103 New York City Transit local bus routes, and the BxM7 MTA Bus express bus route,
- most of the PATH train stations (except for Christopher Street and 9th Street),
- #6 (Ocean Avenue – Journal Square), #80 (Newark Avenue), and #87 (King Drive) New Jersey Transit bus routes.
- A new route service was added at an unknown date: one was able to use the Newark Liberty International Airport's AirTrain monorail system to terminals A, B, and C and the long-term parking areas of the airport. However, this was only good for going to the airport, away from the Newark Liberty International Airport Station, and did not apply when leaving the airport, towards the station.
- "pay-as-you-go" RFID card scan at select turnstiles or locations; or,
- pre-funded fares via a pilot website called the "NY/NJ Transit Trial" for multiple and unlimited ride discounts. Pre-funded fares ceased to be available on the trial website on October 16, 2010, and the free trial ended on November 30, 2010.
- All stations on the 4, 5, 6, and <6> trains between Grand Central–42nd Street and Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center were in the initial OMNY pilot.
- See § Timeline for a list of additional stations.
- De facto implementation, as OMNY has been implemented on all stations that include this line.
- These are the only two Staten Island Railway stations with turnstiles. See:
- Hoscik, Martin (October 11, 2018). "TfL set to extend Cubic's contactless fares licensing deal after netting £15m in royalties in just two years". MayorWatch. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "About NYC Transit – History". October 19, 2002. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
- Chan, Sewell (January 31, 2006). "A Test at 25 Stations Subway Riding Without the Swiping". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Steinemann, Jeremy (August 5, 2009). "The Future of the MetroCard Part 3". Second Ave. Sagas. Archived from the original on August 11, 2009.
- Bacheldor, Beth (January 31, 2006). "RFID to Ride N.Y. Subways". RFID Journal. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
- Blass, Evan (February 1, 2006). ""Select customers" to trial RFID NYC subway pass". Engadget. Archived from the original on February 3, 2006.
- "New Jersey and New York Transit Agencies Partner with MasterCard on Tap & Go Payment System to Enhance Commuter Experience". MasterCard (Press release). June 1, 2010. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Kaminer, Ariel (June 11, 2010). "Testing PayPass on New York's Buses and Trains". The New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Glucksman, Randy (July 2010). "Commuter and Transit Notes". The Bulletin. 53 (7). Electric Railroaders' Association. p. 10.
- "About the Trial". NY/NJ Transit Trial. Archived from the original on November 18, 2010. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
- Hinds, Kate (June 1, 2015). "Finally: The MTA Has an Approved Capital Program". WNYC. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
- Smith, Dave (January 11, 2016). "All New York City subway stations will have WiFi by the end of this year". Business Insider. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Rivoli, Dan; Gregorian, Dareh (April 12, 2016). "MTA to solicit proposals for 'New Fare Payment System,' taking first step in finding MetroCard replacement". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
- Siff, Andrew (September 11, 2017). "MetroCard Replacement Is Coming Soon: MTA". NBC New York. Retrieved September 11, 2017.
- Rivoli, Dan (October 6, 2017). "MTA testing new tech that could replace MetroCard". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 9, 2017.
- Rivoli, Dan (October 23, 2017). "MTA approves plan to scrap MetroCards for 'tap' payment system". NY Daily News. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
- Barron, James (October 23, 2017). "New York to Replace MetroCard With Modern Way to Pay Transit Fares". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
- Barron, James (October 27, 2017). "New Fare System Raises Security Concerns, but Officials Promise Safety". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "MTA: OMNY will be phased in to replace MetroCards in NYC". ABC7 New York. February 23, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
- "Avoiding replacing the MetroCard with ... chaos". am New York. April 2, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. May 20, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- "MetroCards to start tapping out in May". am New York. June 13, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- Berger, Paul. "Liberty? Tony? Pretzel? New York Officials Puzzle Over Fare Card Name". WSJ. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- Meyer, David (August 5, 2019). "MetroCard's flashy replacement was almost named 'Pretzel'". New York Post. Retrieved August 7, 2019.
- "No More MetroCards? MTA To Test New Fare System Where Riders Pay Using Smartphone". CBS New York. February 23, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
- "MTA to phase out MetroCard: Out with the swipe, in with the tap". News 12 The Bronx. February 23, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
- Rivoli, Dan (February 22, 2019). "Why not Apple Card? Or Gotham Card? MTA's tap-n-go fare card has unimaginative name". nydailynews.com. Retrieved August 3, 2019.
- "MTA to begin pilot for MetroCard replacement next week". New York Post. February 22, 2019. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
- Chung, Jen. "OMNY Is Alive: MTA Opens Up Tap Payment System In Limited Subway Pilot". Gothamist. Archived from the original on June 3, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "6,000 tap into new MTA fare system on first full day". am New York. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "MTA begins rollout of 'tap-and-go' fare payment system". brooklyn.news12.com. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "New York's MTA Gets Apple Pay and Google Pay: Here's How to Set It Up". Fortune. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "Fareback Fridays Promotion". www.mastercard.us. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
- "Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. November 12, 2019. Retrieved May 19, 2019.
- Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (July 30, 2019). "So Long, Swiping. The 'Tap-and-Go' Subway Is Here". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- Meyer, David (November 12, 2019). "MTA's tap-and-go fare system coming to 48 subway stations in December". New York Post. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
- Glasser-Baker, Becca (November 13, 2019). "MTA announces the expansion of OMNY". Metro US. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- "MTA Expanding OMNY to All Boroughs by End of 2020". Spectrum News NY1 | New York City. November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
- Bascome, Erik (January 8, 2020). "OMNY reaches 5 million taps; MTA rolls out new marketing campaign". silive. Retrieved January 8, 2020.
- "Press Release - MTA Headquarters - OMNY Surpasses 5 Million Taps Ahead of Expansion to 60 More Stations by End of January". MTA. January 7, 2020. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
- "OMNY payment program expands to Bronx subway lines". amNewYork. February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
- "OMNY contactless payment system to go live on all Manhattan buses". Intelligent Transport. March 3, 2020. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
- "System Rollout". omny.info. April 8, 2020. Archived from the original on April 8, 2020. Retrieved April 14, 2020.
- Guse, Clayton (February 2, 2020). "MetroCard replacement OMNY coming to 37 more subway stations in the Bronx this month". nydailynews.com. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
- "NY: MetroCard replacement OMNY coming to 37 more subway stations in the Bronx this month". Mass Transit. February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
- Krisel, Brendan (March 2, 2020). "More Harlem Train Stations To Be Equipped With OMNY System: MTA". Harlem, NY Patch. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
- MTA Press Conference - 12/11/2019. Metropolitan Transportation Authority. December 11, 2019. Retrieved December 17, 2019 – via YouTube.
- "Say hello to tap and go, with OMNY". MTA. Retrieved February 24, 2019.
- "PATH Implementation Plan" (PDF). PANYNJ. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
- Higgs, Larry (June 6, 2019). "NJ Transit takes a small step toward getting its own fare card, similar to NYC". NJ.com. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
- Budds, Diana (October 3, 2019). "A new report outlines privacy risks for the MTA's contactless payment system". Curbed NY. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- a_henning (October 2, 2019). "Privacy group raises OMNY security concerns". CSNY. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- staff/wnyc; staff/stephen-nessen (May 30, 2019). "MTA's New Fare Payment OMNY Launches Friday Amid Questions About Data Security & Durability". Gothamist. Archived from the original on November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
- "Apple Pay can double-charge commuters who use MTA's OMNY". ABC7 New York. January 10, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to OMNY.|