New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is to begin installing vending machines that will enable passengers to purchase and top up its contactless Omny EMV fare payments card at all 472 stations across the city’s subway network rather than having to visit a retail store.
The cards let passengers who don’t have, or don’t want to use, a contactless bank card, smartphone or wearable use the MTA’s Omny open loop fare payments system to pay for their journeys.
MTA aims to start the rollout in June this year and is also planning to add support for Omny transit ticketing for journeys on Roosevelt Island Tramway and for AirTrain services to JFK International Airport in the near future, according to local media reports.
The news comes as the Omny open loop contactless fare payment system recorded nearly 1.7m New York City subway fare payments on a single day, accounting for 42.5% of the more than 4m paid subway rides made on 20 April — the highest number of subway journeys in a day since 12 March 2020 and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At present, public transportation users can purchase and top up Omny cards at retail outlets across the city including CVS, Walgreens and 7-Eleven.
The MTA added support for discounted tickets to the Omny payments platform in October 2022 and reported that the total number of Omny fare payments had reached 100m in July 2021.
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