New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has added support for reduced fares to its Omny open loop contactless payments service, enabling eligible senior citizens and people with disabilities to receive a discount whenever they tap to pay for their subway or bus journey using their debit or credit card, smartphone or wearable device.
Eligible passengers will also soon be able to receive a discount if they opt to make closed loop contactless ticketing payments using a version of the MTA’s physical Omny EMV payments card that supports reduced fares and is due to roll out in 2023, the transportation authority says.
To pay reduced fares with their own contactless debit or credit card or smart device, users first create an account via the Omny website, upload personal information confirming their eligibility using the website’s digital assistant and select the payment method they wish to link to their account. They then receive a discount whenever they pay their fares with that card or device.
“By using a contactless card or smart device, reduced fare riders benefit from increased accessibility to the transit system in a variety of ways,” the MTA says.
“Customers will no longer need to track a card that must be replaced upon expiration nor pre-load value onto a Metrocard.
“Omny also gives reduced fare customers the opportunity to benefit from the MTA’s ongoing Lucky 13 fare capping program, where customers ride free after 12 paid Omny taps in a week from Monday to Sunday.”
A short video shows how the reduced fare system works.
The MTA announced in January 2021 that it would be adding support for reduced fares for senior citizens and people with disabilities once the Omny contactless payments service had been fully rolled out.