Home Ground Transportation (Bus, Lyft, Subway, Taxi, Train, Uber, etc.) Prepare To Say Goodbye To NYC’s MetroCards

Prepare To Say Goodbye To NYC’s MetroCards

by joeheg

It’s been a long goodbye for the MetroCard. Since 1996, the bright yellow card has been the way to pay for buses and subways run by the MTA throughout New York City and the surrounding areas.

When the MTA switched from tokens to cards, it was a different time. Most people were still purchasing tokens from an MTA employee at the subway station. Over 1/2 of New Yorkers didn’t have a bank account and cash was a primary payment method.

With the switch to the MetroCard came another significant change, the MetroCard vending machine.

Today, the MetroCard dispensing machine looks like a kids’ toy. But 25 years ago, using a touch-screen device was new to most New Yorkers. The bright color coding indicated what each area was for (cash, credit card, MetroCard.)

However, times change and the MTA is nearing the end of the transition from the swipe-based MetroCard to the new, contactless OMNY platform. The change was announced in 2019 and it’s been a long road to get where we are. At the end of 2020, the entire bus and subway systems had OMNY readers.

The MTA expects many riders to tap a contactless card or use a phone or watch to pay for their rides. As part of the changeover, the MTA now sells an OMNY card to those who don’t have a contactless card or device. You can buy and reload the cards with cash at many drugstores or convenience stores or reload them with your credit or debit card via the OMNY website.

But the OMNY system is missing some features from the MetroCard. For example, there is no 7-day or 30-day pass, which can make it more expensive for visitors. There’s also no way for seniors to get a reduced fare, but the MTA says that feature is coming very soon.

With less need for the MetroCard, the MTA will start removing the MetroCard vending machines from stations and replacing them with OMNY machines.

The project is set to be completed by the end of 2023. At that time, we’ll finally have to say goodbye to the MetroCard for good.

I guess my trick of what to do with an expired MetroCard won’t work for a whole lot longer.

Want to comment on this post? Great! Read this first to help ensure it gets approved.
Want to sponsor a post, write something for Your Mileage May Vary, or put ads on our site? Click here for more info.

Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and sign up to get emailed notifications of when we post.

Whether you’ve read our articles before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!

This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

61 comments

Beverly Durant September 5, 2022 - 8:43 pm

Card is not the problem. People stop paying fare and the drivers turn their heads the other way. Out of every 10 people only 2 will pay.

Reply
SYION September 6, 2022 - 8:58 am

And what exactly do you propose would be your solution to stop this fare evasion ?

Reply
Jill September 7, 2022 - 11:09 pm

Are they forgetting that most elderly people don’t even know how to use a phone to even access their MyChart. Now they have to learn how to scan their phone on the OMNY?!

Reply
Migdal September 8, 2022 - 2:42 pm

Thank you. I m almost 70 and had to learn to FaceTime my son in NC to fill a recertification application and send it back.

Reply
Evelyn September 8, 2022 - 7:30 am

My mom is a Senior and relies on bus service to get around to her doctors appointments. She now has to learn to use a tap by phone system and then on top of that senior fares are not put in place🤔

Reply
Alida Reyes September 11, 2022 - 6:52 am

I am a senior and the senior fare is in place with OMNY if you have a senior metro card now.

Reply
Ismailbhai Panjwani September 8, 2022 - 5:37 pm

I remember $33 dollars subway card unlimited ride bus or train for one week now all is over

Reply
derek September 5, 2022 - 10:02 pm

What is the recommendation for people who live far from NYC but have a Metro card with some value? Can one get an OMNY card without going to NYC? Or get a new Metro card in early to mid 2023 when their current Metro card expires?

Reply
joeheg September 5, 2022 - 10:21 pm

Since MetroCards should be good until the end of 2023, there’s time to figure that one out.

Reply
Alida September 11, 2022 - 6:59 am

You. can go online and get the OMNY card. You can also access your Metro Card online. Two different web sites

Reply
Quintin A. Beauford September 5, 2022 - 10:17 pm

What about the city employees who carefree is on the commuter benefit soultion edenred car how will affect those employees

Reply
joeheg September 5, 2022 - 10:22 pm

From what I’ve read, that’s why the MetroCard is still around until these things can be resolved.

Reply
Heyyy itsssmeehh Sophie September 5, 2022 - 11:13 pm

How can I get a metro card for my family when we visit?

Reply
Leah Pendergast September 6, 2022 - 7:10 am

At a MetroCard vending machine. They haven’t gone yet.

Reply
Quintin Whitley September 5, 2022 - 10:27 pm

What about fare fairs cards how will this effect those who use fare fairs metrocard.

Reply
Angel Nelson September 7, 2022 - 1:13 pm

Thats what im trying to figure out too cause i have that. I think those programs will still remain it will just switch over to omni system

Reply
Andrew Newsome September 5, 2022 - 11:41 pm

Speaking of touchscreen, the Citibank ATMs in 1991 had touchscreen (and they were multilingual, too). So when MetroCard vending machines came with touchscreen, a sizable number of New Yorkers must have been familiar with it.

Reply
Anthony Robertson September 6, 2022 - 7:49 am

What about fair fare metro card how will that effect that. I have a fair fares metro card.

Reply
Ash September 6, 2022 - 1:12 pm

I don’t live in NY but come in to care for my mother, I don’t want my banking info tied to a card just to get around four times a month. Can I buy the card outside of that and add funds in cash outside of the subway system???

This sucks for tourists too whom I’m sure don’t want their banking info stored in NYC transportation system for a short visit…. Progress yes but little concern in those aspects for the occasional subway rider…😥

Reply
Brooklyn-ite September 7, 2022 - 10:19 pm

As a NYC resident, I totally understand and feel the same way.
You can buy an OMNY card (like a “tap card” for Boston, Washington D.C., and many other cities globally) at different locations/shops. You can reload it on the OMNY website, and at specific locations/shops.
I use mine all the time for commuting, and it even sends you a text when your balance is low. The card will even let you enter the subway even if you have less on the card than the full fare (ex: just $1 left). Then, it notifies you that your OMNY card is temporarily suspended till you refill it. So, it’s super convenient, you can freeze the card if you lose it, and it’s not connected to your bank info.
Between Monday- Sunday, after paying for 12 rides (however long that takes), the rest of the rides are free until Sunday at midnight. So, the unlimited 7-day option is there for those who want/need to use it, without having to pay upfront.

Reply
D Edwards September 6, 2022 - 12:32 am

How will the OMNY machine differ from the Metrocard machine?

Reply
Andre Serrano (@andotski_) September 6, 2022 - 11:46 am

Probably an updated design to work with the contact free omny cards, and will dispense omny cards instead of metrocards.

Reply
Cristina September 6, 2022 - 12:39 am

I need my 30 day card, my schedule changes weekly. My parents need their senior cards. Do my kids still get school cards or do I need to buy them smart phones? Wow, MTA, too many unanswered questions for all these proclamations. First give us the details, THEN sell us the product.

Reply
Anthony Robertson September 6, 2022 - 7:53 am

How will getting rid of metro cards effect fair fares card. Will we still pay half price and how.

Reply
Michelle Montgomery September 6, 2022 - 2:13 am

What about the 1/2 fare cards for people that are disabled issues. The card with our picture on it. ????

Reply
Lala September 8, 2022 - 3:40 am

Is this fixed?
In April 2022, I traveled home from LGA by bus. The M60 bus then transferred to another bus using my Metrocard. As I stood near the back door waiting for my stop, I opened my MTA app to check the time for the connecting bus when I heard a sound and saw the OMNY reader flash green. An additional fare was debited from my bank account from the back door. I never used OMNY again. Is that fixed?

Reply
Anastasia .J. September 9, 2022 - 3:19 am

Anastasia .J.

I used my phone to scan my card and it scanned 2 times.. Down getting my refund work.. Will it be faster now that i don’t have to mail in a card.. Will i direct me to the online refund to upload information or do i still have to mail in information.. I hope i don’t have to do all of that an wait that long.. I hope its just picture prof an money uploaded directly back to my app with in seconds or with in 24 hours money will be directed back on my card.. I DONT WANT OR I SHOULDN’T have TO WAIT THAT LONG IF IT INLINE AN ON APP TO PAY..

HOW WILL I GET MY MONEY BACK??

Reply
007700 September 6, 2022 - 3:10 am

Thought it was MetroCard Gold not yellow

Reply
Jose Monserrate September 6, 2022 - 4:30 am

Here we go with there incompetent,,way of thinking again,,no solutions for all the other cards the public use ,,the ole just shove it down there throats mentality,,shame an they want to raise the fair ,,,for the service they provide,, getting killed,robbed , pushed in front of a train ,raped must i go on ,,SMH

Reply
Laura September 7, 2022 - 3:50 pm

I don’t feel that it’s right to get rid of Metrocsrd I don’t have a bank account and plus I need a 7 days Metrocard to get back and forth from work from the doctor appointment.

Reply
dena Nieren September 9, 2022 - 12:37 pm

What was wrong with doing things the way we did in the good old days? I don’t consider doing away with MetroCards in favor of this new system progress. I was a teenager in the 80’s, and we dreamt of a simple phone we could leave the house with, not some gadget that would try to take over our lives The smartphone is nothing but a big hassle. People expect to reach you night and day, and get royally upset when they can’t reach you. Every notification produces a sense of anxiety iand urgency in everyone. People are absolutely addicted to social media. It seems like nothing can wait anymore. All these online forms and websites are such as a hassle, especially for those less tech savvy

Reply
Jose Monserrate September 6, 2022 - 4:32 am

Such b.s. ,,

Reply
Rachel September 6, 2022 - 6:00 am

Phone app is the best idea… it will reduce crime and homeless individuals access to the system.

Reply
Pauline Morgan September 6, 2022 - 6:56 am

So this is like a two legged stool I don’t know how New Yorkers going to do because the monthly and the weekly pass help a lot for poor people. I think the MTA is not thinking they are only doing

Reply
Maureen E Gonzalez September 6, 2022 - 7:28 am

Wat happens to people who have half fare metro cards wat do we do about that

Reply
DONALD KIRBY September 6, 2022 - 8:28 am

WHAT ABOUT RETIRED MTA WORKERS

Reply
Gina September 8, 2022 - 11:41 am

New York is just stupid why would you try to change something when you don’t even have the kinks world out for everyone else

Reply
Jeffrey Rosenthal September 6, 2022 - 8:33 am

You are wrong about MTA getting rid of the 7-day card. OMNY has made it much better, as you can see from the ubiquitous ads all over the subway. You don’t have to figure out in advance whether you will travel enough to make it worthwhile — after you’ve tapped 12 times in a week, every ride the rest of the week is automatically free without having to buy anything in advance. Way better.

Reply
THOMAS T MYRICK September 7, 2022 - 12:22 pm

How so when most persons will only “swip” ten trips to and from work. Where is the extra two ships coming from.

Reply
Jeffrey Rosenthal September 18, 2022 - 9:30 am

It’s not different than a 7-day metrocard. If you are only going to use it 10 times in a week, it was not worthwhile. At around $30, always had its breakeven point at about 12 trips. Not weekly commuters who don’t ride transit any other time.

Reply
Jerome Zarks September 6, 2022 - 9:37 am

I rather use a MetroCard! Truly hate being forced into complying. If the turnstiles don’t change then people are going to continue to beat this greedy system. 🖕🏾 MTA

Reply
CAROL A GRAVES-TONGE September 6, 2022 - 10:51 am

What about the seniors
What about the express buses

Reply
Patricia Jackman September 7, 2022 - 6:50 pm

What about the seniors who use their easy pay cards?

Reply
Patricia A Coleman September 6, 2022 - 11:28 am

Do ya’ll really think about what this does or how it would effect the people and seniors or do you even care.l believe a serious explanation is due to us all.

Reply
Wanda Sanchez September 6, 2022 - 11:58 am

😢 Goodbye MetroCard , you served us well, Now The MTA will move along💳🚊🚌🚕🚂,time and progress goes forward like Life, we used the card, for memories we shall cherish for now and forever ,fun & happy times & the same for days of sadness as New Yorkers we endure, and w the right leadership, NYC will flourish ,Remain the greatest capital city …Thank You MTA family, Extending Appreciation & Gratitude.,God Bless NYC 2022-2023❤️🇺🇸

Reply
Paula September 6, 2022 - 2:23 pm

Well I am an access-a-ride partipant and I want to know this will affect my MTA Paratransit card???

Reply
Paula September 6, 2022 - 2:25 pm

People are jumping the turnstiles and going in the exits. And on the bus they tell the driver they have money and ride for free. I see it everyday!!!!

Reply
Adrian Powell September 6, 2022 - 3:21 pm

Will the OMNY machines be programmed for MTA Access-A-Ride MetroCards?

Reply
Roberto DeLaCruz September 6, 2022 - 9:21 pm

Ok that sounds wonderful, but what about us seniors that has disability bus pass and senior passes, how will it work for us.

Reply
Ingrid September 7, 2022 - 10:42 am

What about the Fair Fare program what’s going to happen with this.

Reply
Mindy September 7, 2022 - 10:59 am

I pay half half fare will it effect that

Reply
amarakus September 7, 2022 - 2:12 pm

London UK has had the Oyster card for over 10 years contactless payment on underground, busses and some railroad routes, all the features mass transit needs and the problem with NYC Metro is “not invented here” so It will be years and be worse than the Metro card we have today.

Reply
Marilyn September 9, 2022 - 6:45 pm

I don’t like the idea of you changing the metro card, cause mine is a senior one, I buy the 30 day senior pass, what will happen with that. I’m 77 years old, don’t know how to work fares from my phone. Also I pay my fare every time I get on the bus. I see people just walking on and not paying, what are they going to do about that. Also more people come in the back door then the front.

Reply
Ralph urena September 7, 2022 - 4:06 pm

What about unlimited?I travel back and forth to work 5-6 times a day.How expensive will that get? Greedy MTA!!

Reply
Wtf MTA September 7, 2022 - 5:46 pm

This is crazy I have so many metro cards with fare on it some booth don’t even let you transfer the money on money on it wtf?! MTA

Reply
Indhira September 8, 2022 - 10:50 am

Instead of changing all these machines, how about invest in ways of how to maintain cleaner subways and bus transit…

Reply
Dante Ray Medori September 8, 2022 - 4:15 pm

Maybe a petition on change.org can save it.

Reply
Gurl September 8, 2022 - 5:20 pm

As a daily commuter, I share the same concerns about the anticipated elimination of unlimited rides. I really hope the MTA adds this feature to the Omni program.
I’m also concerned about possible rising costs for senior citizens and the disabled. I hope reduced fares will be added soon.
This may seem like progress for commerce, but I just don’t see how Omni could be cost effective in the long run. Moreover, the tapping feature does not work for me.

Reply
Milton Pacheco September 8, 2022 - 7:02 pm

People on Medicare get MetroCards from the hospital to get to appointments. So how is a patient suppose to get to and from a hospital???

Reply
Rafael Ortiz September 9, 2022 - 6:08 pm

People are so afraid of change. Grow up seniors they’re working on fixing the half fare. On the new system. Think positive.

Reply
CJ September 9, 2022 - 10:46 pm

All you people that supposedly ride the bus and subway so much that we can’t take away your unlimited ride metrocard….maybe you’ve seen the ads that after your 12th ride every week the rest are free? How could you possibly have missed them? Almost every subway car I ride in features an ad for this. They are not getting rid of unlimited you are just not buying it in advance.

Reply

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: