New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) joined Visa and Chase at a press conference on Wednesday (Dec. 11) to announce the expansion of tap to pay at Penn Station.
The MTA started piloting the system – called OMNY, short for One Metro New York – in May. OMNY will bring a contactless card-supporting turnstiles network to all 472 stations, as well as all MTA bus routes, by the end of 2020.
The MTA reached one million taps by August. This month, usage is expected to reach a goal of four million taps. Payments are charged directly to the accounts associated with the cards used, so there is no need to buy transit cards or tickets.
Before launching, a Visa survey discovered that over 65 percent of New Yorkers who responded said that having to reload fare cards caused them to miss a train. Over 80 percent indicated that they have had trouble getting their public transportation fare cards to work.
The survey also showed that 76 percent of New Yorkers use tap to pay in other situations, with speed cited as the foremost advantage. New Yorkers’ use of contactless payments increased almost 10 times in the last year.
“Our customers have adopted OMNY at impressive levels during the public pilot, and I expect that to continue now that we're beginning to roll out to the rest of the system," Al Putre, OMNY program executive, said in a recent press release. “We are working relentlessly to deliver this new fare payment system effectively through meticulous and continuous testing and monitoring. We are excited to start this next phase to bring all MTA customers the ease and convenience of tapping at the turnstile."
The press conference is expected to cover important information concerning the rollout and progress made with contactless adoption.
Contactless payments were launched in August at Miami’s Metrorail stations, and the Metrobus service is expected to be added by year-end.