The New York MTA has announced that they’re going to do away with the Metrocard system in favor of the OMNY payment platform. The main difference is that Metrocards are based on a swipe platform and OMNY is a contactless system designed to be used with credit cards, phone wallets and wearable devices. Amazingly, the MTA was able to complete the transition at all subway stations and city buses ahead of schedule. Sure, you still can use a Metrocard but eventually, they’ll go the way of the dodo bird.
For us, we love that we can use the OMNY system at all subway stations. We’ve activated the “Express Transit” feature on our Apple Watch and iPhones and pay for our fares with just a tap. However, when I wrote about this feature in a prior post, several comments said that this feature wasn’t great because people who use a 7-day Metrocard would end up paying more by tapping for every ride.
Well, to that end, there’s good news! As of February 28th, 2022, there’s a fare cap of 12 rides ($33) per week from Monday-Sunday if you use the same card/device/wearable/OMNY card to pay for your fare on city subways and buses. After the 12 rides, all the rest of your rides are free for the rest of that week.
They explain it all in the video below:
That $33 price isn’t a random number, by the way. It’s the same amount you’ll pay for a 7-day Unlimited Metrocard.
Finally, the MTA has found a way not to penalize passengers for using OMNY. It is also a great system for visitors to New York. If you’re staying for a week, you might not know how much you’ll use the subway and buses during your trip. This way, if you take more than 12 rides between Monday and Sunday, your additional rides are free. The only negative is that not everyone’s trips fall between Monday-Sunday and in that case, it would still be a better deal to buy a 7-day Metrocard.
But I’ll give a “yay” for technological advances that bring the MTA to the same rules the London Underground has been using for years.
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