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Finally, I can use my iPhone to ride the NYC subway



However, before we get into that, let's first talk about the Express Transit configuration process, as the Apple Pay function is called. When you access the "Wallet & Apple Pay" settings on your iPhone, you will now see an option called Express Transit Card. After touching that, you must select a credit or debit card, which will be used as the default payment for your trips by public transport. I already have a couple of cards saved on my iPhone to use with Apple Pay, so all I had to do was choose one of them. Then, after a quick authentication of Face ID, I was ready to leave. The whole process took less than a minute.

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Once I got to the subway station, I placed my iPhone next to the OMNY reader on the turnstile and then the screen showed a message saying "GO". I did not have to open an application or unlock my phone to get through, and so does the Apple Watch and the Android phone. with Google Pay that I've tried. The fact of not having to slide my old MetroCard to try to take a train was quite satisfactory. Not only because it feels futuristic, but because it means that I do not have to go to a vending machine to recharge my card or worry about losing it or stealing it.

Unfortunately, at this time the OMNY system only works for single fare trips, but the MTA says that by the end of 2020 all types of fares will be accepted, including weekly and monthly pbades. The other drawback at this time, of course, is that you can not use this at all subway stations or on all bus lines. At launch, OMNY is only working on 16 subway stations on lines 4, 5 and 6 between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center (Brooklyn) and Grand Central-42nd Street (Manhattan), in addition to all buses on Staten Island. A spokesman for the MTA told Engadget that more stations and buses will be revised by the end of 2019.

The launch of OMNY today is just the beginning of the MTA's plan to replace the use of MetroCard, a system that has been implemented since 1993, by 2023. And if you do not have Apple Pay or Google Pay, do not worry: the MTA is convinced that it is "platform independent", so you can also use services like Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay. In addition, in 2021, the MTA plans to introduce its own traffic card without contact with the OMNY brand, in case there are residents of New York City who prefer not to use the technology of Apple, Google and others.


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