MTA to expand Omny open loop ticketing to all New York bus services and subway stations

Hand with nfc contactless smartphone over ticket reader
EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS: Since Omny’s launch at the end of May, there have been more than 3m taps

New York’s Omny contactless fare system is to undergo “a blitz phase of installations that will bring the popular new contactless fare payment system to all 472 stations as well as all MTA bus routes by the end of next year,” the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has announced.

The move follows adoption rates that MTA says have “exceeded even the most optimistic of internal forecasts” with Omny surpassing 3m taps since its launch at the end of May.

“The tremendous growth in use comes over the course of just six weeks, a week faster than the system’s growth from 1m to 2m taps and four weeks faster than it took Omny to reach 1m taps,” the MTA says.

To date, Omny “has accepted successful taps from bank cards issued in over 112 countries, including the US. These countries span six of the world’s seven continents, all except Antarctica.”

From next month, the service will be available at seven additional stations — Penn Station, Whitehall Street, South Ferry, 86 St-Bay Ridge, Sutphin Blvd-Archer Av-JFK plus St George and Tompkinsville stations on the Staten Island Railway.

“Additionally, by year’s end, Omny will be available at several more stations on the 4, 5, 6 lines and the 1, 2, 3 lines in Manhattan and the Bronx,” the MTA adds.

“The arrival of Omny at all of these locations marks the first time that Omny will touch all five boroughs.”

A rapid rollout to the remainder of the New York subway network and to MTA-operated buses will then take place in 2020 so that full coverage is in place by the end of the year.

Impressive takeup

“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,” says Al Putre, Omny programme executive.

“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.”

“Some of the next stations to receive this payments technology will allow Staten Island bus customers in particular who use Omny to seamlessly utilise all available free transfer capabilities for Staten Island bus routes just as a MetroCard user might today,” Putre adds.

“The public pilot has been immensely successful and what we’ve learned over these last several months will inform our work ahead as we scale Omny across the entire transit system.”