MTA releases $5 OMNY card to replace $1 MetroCard



Riders can now pay more for a modern MetroCard with fewer features.

Two years after launching a pilot for its new One Metro New York contactless card fare-payment system in 2019, the MTA has finally released OMNY cards to the public. The plastic, credit card-like MetroCard alternative offers straphangers the ability to tap through turnstiles and can be reloaded online, or at select retail locations with either credit or cash.

In exchange for the relative convenience and arguable upgrade from swiping to merely scanning, riders will have to shell out $5. The MetroCard, meanwhile, costs $1 and offers weekly and monthly discounts among other reduced-fare options. The OMNY card is launching with only a per-ride payment option, although other MTA fare programs are set to be incorporated before the year is out. After a certain amount of time, the cards expire. While OMNY readers are now available at every stop, should they break, turnstiles can become accessible exclusively to MetroCards

What the OMNY cards do offer is an online user account with past trip receipts and real-time train schedules — at the cost of five times the price of a MetroCard. And straphangers not wanting to shell out $5 for the new tech can still access the OMNY system through Apple Pay, Apple Cash and digital wallets for free. 

New OMNY cards cost $5, but straphangers can still use a number of digital methods including Apple Pay to access the tap and go system for free.
New OMNY cards cost $5, but straphangers can still use a number of digital methods including Apple Pay to access the tap-and-go system for free.
William Farrington for NY Post

“Say hello to the OMNY card. The new way to pay and be on your way, no swiping or dipping required,” the OMNY website says. 

The rollout of OMNY comes nearly three decades after MetroCards began to replace tokens in the mid-1990s. Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road, which already allow mobile payments, are set to become OMNY-enabled in 2022.  

“Tap and go means no more swipes, no more losing your MetroCard,” former Interim Transit President Sarah Feinberg said late last year when announcing every bus and subway turnstile in NYC had been equipped with the OMNY payment system. “Just bring your own device and you can enter the system with ease.”


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