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New York MTA completes contactless payments rollout

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MTA officials today tapped into the final subway station to be equipped with OMNY readers, marking the completion of the year-and-a-half-long rollout of the MTA’s state-of-the-art, new contactless fare payment system that will ultimately replace MetroCard completely in 2023. Earlier in the week, officials also turned on OMNY readers on all Brooklyn and Queens bus routes. The completed installation of over 15,000 OMNY readers at all 472 stations, on all 5,800 buses and at Staten Island Railway stations represents the culmination of the first major phase of the multi-year project.

Currently, customers can use OMNY to pay their fares by tapping contactless bank cards or smart devices equipped with digital wallets on OMNY readers. The “bring-your-own-media” approach will always remain the most convenient and environmentally-friendly approach to paying the fare for subways and buses.

To continue to educate customers on the benefits of OMNY, the MTA is launching a new marketing campaign “Tap On, Get On” systemwide. To view the campaign, click here.

“This is a big day for the MTA,” said Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chairman and CEO. “When we launched OMNY, I knew Al Putre, Wayne Lydon and the entire team we’d assembled to lead this tremendous effort were incredibly talented, but I still couldn’t have imagined what they would encounter in order to make this project a reality. Through it all, they persevered and got it done. Al and his team have truly delivered for our customers.”

“The timing on this milestone could not be better,” said Mario Péloquin, MTA Chief Operating Officer. “Contactless payment is the future and thanks to the OMNY team, the MTA will be at the forefront of this trend. Customers returning in 2021 will have all the tools needed to have as seamless a commute as possible. The MTA team did incredible work to achieve this important milestone and Cubic proved flexible to support even during a pandemic.”

“This is a great milestone for our customers,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim New York City Transit President. “It’s been a profoundly challenging year at the MTA and New York City Transit, but the OMNY team rose to the challenge and delivered this huge project on time. NYCT teams have been relentless in their focus and have continued to make key improvements throughout the system despite the pandemic and I’m excited for our customers to experience these new benefits.”

“We did it, and we did it on time, like I promised we would,” said Al Putre, MTA OMNY Fare Payment Programs Executive Director at Eastern Parkway–Brooklyn Museum station. “We did it on budget too. I remain immensely proud of the MTA team responsible for bringing a truly modern fare payment system to all of our 5,800 buses and all 472 subway stations as well as to our partners at Cubic Transportation Systems for their great work. We endured a range of challenges, but stared down adversity every single time and got the job done. Not even a once-in-a-century pandemic could stop us from implementing a once-in-a-generation fare payment system.”

“Many aspects of our lives have become more difficult this year,” said Sarah Meyer, New York City Transit Chief Customer Officer. “But OMNY makes at least one process easier, faster and safer than ever for New Yorkers. I’m thrilled that subway and bus riders everywhere now have a chance to experience the simplicity of a tap and go technology that allows people to spend less time waiting at MetroCard Vending Machines and more time at home with their families.”

“The herculean task of installing OMNY on all 5,800 New York City Transit and MTA Buses is now complete and our customers are beginning to reap its benefits,” said Craig Cipriano, President of MTA Bus Company and SVP of Buses for New York City Transit. “This is the first major milestone towards our commitment to all door boarding which will improve local bus speeds and bus service throughout the city.”

“Today, more than 70% of Visa cards in New York are contactless-enabled – up from 5% since the MTA rollout began, making ‘tap to ride’ a growing option for New Yorkers,” said Dan Sanford, Global Head of Contactless Payments, Visa. “We congratulate MTA on this significant milestone and look forward to continuing our partnership.”

“MTA has transformed the transit experience in New York City with the introduction of OMNY, saving time and providing convenience for riders,” said Linda Kirkpatrick, President US Issues, Mastercard. “As consumers continue to prioritize touchless experiences, Mastercard is proud of its partnership with the MTA to equip our cardholders with safe and secure tap and go options as they travel around the city.”

“American Express has been working with the MTA on this large-scale rollout of contactless payments across the New York City transit system,” said Curtis Wilson, Vice President & General Manager, U.S. Merchant Services, American Express. “This rollout, coupled with contactless offerings from merchants all around the city, is helping New Yorkers become more familiar with contactless as a fast, safe, and easy way to pay.”

“We congratulate the MTA on this significant milestone for New York City,” said Mike Nagle, Managing Director Chase Card Services. “We’ve seen that Chase customers have embraced tapping to pay, and welcome the news that more customers can tap to ride MTA subways and buses across the system.”

Since OMNY was launched at a limited number of stations in late May of 2019, more than 35 million taps have been recorded with bank cards issued in 137 countries including the U.S. and 2.4 million unique payment credentials have been used in the OMNY system to date. OMNY currently accounts for over 10 percent of all taps in the system. A year ago, that figure was at over 4 percent and the figure is expected to grow considerably over the next year.

Beginning in 2021, customers will be able to purchase the OMNY card – a contactless fare card – at retail locations throughout the region. OMNY will also begin expanding fare options in 2021 with the introduction of reduced fares for senior customers and riders with disabilities and the integration with paratransit services. The card will eventually be available at vending machines in stations as well.

Improvements to the digital experience are set to debut in 2021, including a refresh of the OMNY website and the launch of the OMNY mobile app. These efforts will give customers additional flexibility and choice in where, when and how their fare is paid.

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