Home / World / MTA Opens Up Tap Payment System In Limited Subway Pilot: Gothamist

MTA Opens Up Tap Payment System In Limited Subway Pilot: Gothamist

At 12:15 p.m. On Friday, the MTA activated OMNY, its long-awaited tap payment system for the subway and buses that will one day replace the MetroCard. Readers have been installed at sixteen train stations 4, 5 and 6 between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, as well as on all Staten Island buses as part of a pilot program.

Users can use OMNY, which means One Metro New York, by means of a contactless credit card (it will have the Wi-Fi symbol on the card) or by means of a credit / debit card connected to a smartphone. Eventually, users can also buy an OMNY card. More metro stations and bus lines will get OMNY readers this year and next, with full OMNY-fication at all stations and on all bus routes by the end of 2020.

At this time, each trip through OMNY costs the full fee of $ 2.75, but the MTA says it will add time-based, reduced fees and for students to OMNY once it is available throughout the system. The MTA expects to phase out the MetroCard by 2023.

MTA CEO Patrick Foye said at a press conference at the Bowling Green station that the project was "years" going, with transit officials and their partners in Cubic (the company behind the technology, they are also involved with MetroCard), working in recent months to have the pilot ready. Foye, Andy Byford, president of Transit of the City of New York, and the Office of Revenue of the Chief of Traffic of the City of New York, Al Putre, emphasized that it would greatly facilitate daily trips, especially on buses. Putre said that 30 people per minute will be able to tap, which is about the same number of MetroCard swipes they can handle, baduming each pbad is perfect.

"It's the quickest and easiest way to pay," Byford said. Referring to how having OMNY connected to credit cards would eliminate the need to recharge MetroCard cards, he added, "you do not have to stand in line to recharge the card."

A man tried to use his American Express card with an OMNY reader, but it took him much longer than the estimated 2 seconds.

While MTA is holding a press conference about the future of OMNY, this regular broker took 20 seconds to enter with his credit card. pic.twitter.com/4ZnFvvHRi5

– Only your friendly neighbor traffic reporter (@s_nessen) May 31, 2019

"There is an education campaign that we have carried out, we will continue to update," said Foye. "There are people, including me, who have to make several swipes with their MetroCard, so I need education, and we are ready for that educational campaign, we have implemented it, we will continue and we will continue.

Putre said there are hundreds of different credit cards from around the world, and each credit card has its own "computer," so this pilot will give MTA and Cubic the opportunity to adapt and add cards to their software. Another thing to consider: all credit card companies that need to reconcile their own systems with smart phones, etc.

Byford was also proud that the MTA was launching to use an open payment system, like not being tied to having some type of card, and said that New York City could learn from what London, Sydney and Toronto have discovered. Your incursions with the contactless payment. "It's transforming," he rapsodized.

The MTA awarded a $ 573 million contract to Cubic Transportation Systems to implement the technology in 2017. Once implemented, the MTA expects the contactless system to save "tens of millions," according to Foye, because the MTA is no longer You will have to do it. pay for several MetroCard maintenance expenses.

President Foye greets the 25-year MetroCard, but says it's time to withdraw it.

– Only your friendly neighbor traffic reporter (@s_nessen) May 31, 2019

The executives left aside the concerns about the privacy of the data, saying that the data was encrypted from the point of purchase and that the information was stored with the credit companies. Foye said the MTA would not sell its customer data either.

Albert Cahn Fox, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Monitoring Project, reviewed OMNY's privacy policy and terms of service and told Gothamist that he had "many unanswered questions." For example, the enforcement section of the law It allows for the exchange of information with the authorities, even without a court order or citation, when agencies simply request data, and it was not clear what access the MTA police would have, and finally, while end users will have a history of trips up to 90 days, it is not clear if there is any limit on the duration of the trip, MTA itself can retain such data, which opens the concerns about indefinite retention.

Monqiue Sánchez, 33, who lives in Staten Island, does not like to connect her credit card to her phone, but is very excited to start using her credit card to take the bus to the bus.

"I feel it could be easier," Sanchez said. "Honestly, now that Express buses are not taking coins, I feel like if you have a card, just leave."

"It will be one less thing to carry in the wallet, and less trash," said Ray McConville, 36, who lives in Hell's Kitchen. It is ready to use when OMNY is ready for unlimited MetroCard. But he wonders why the MTA did not do more to modernize the turnstiles. "It would have been nice to see if they took the time to redesign the turnstiles while they were in the midst of modernizing all of them, but it's a bit interesting to see the old token slots, the MetroCard slots and then the OMNY touch to pay All in one, it's like a little time capsule. "

Additional reporting by Stephen Nessen

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