The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of New York has finished installing the new OMNY readers at all subway stations and city busses. This means riders can pay for rides using contactless cards and devices. We love this feature, as we spent a long weekend in the city and got around by tapping our iPhone and Apple Watch.
This doesn’t mean the MetroCard has gone away just yet. There’s a transition period where you can use either payment method. That’s great because some features haven’t arrived on OMNY, like senior, weekly, monthly or discounted fares. ONMY says these are coming but for now, those riders should keep using their MetroCards.
However, there’s one place where you still need to use a Metrocard to pay the fare – the JFK AirTrain.
The JFK AirTrain fare to/from Jamaica and Howard Beach stations is $8. If you don’t already have a card, that’s an additional $1 (which is why you shouldn’t throw away your Metrocard even if it’s empty.)
As we walked to the AirTrain, there were signs alerting riders that the AirTrain doesn’t accept OMNY yet, but they’re working on it and promise it will be ready before Metrocards disappear (currently set for sometime in 2024.)
We know you want to tap your credit card, debit card, watch, wallet pay, apple pay to ride AirTrain. The new system will be installed before MetroCard is no longer sold or accepted in Subways.… but it will take time. We appreciate your patience.
That’s plenty of padding to a project which was supposed to be finished by the end of 2021. Until then, I’m thankful that Sharon always leaves her card in her wallet, as I’ve forgotten mine on our last 2 trips (and you can swipe up four times with a single MetroCard.).
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