The MTA launched its new "tap-and-go" rate payment system at more than a dozen stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Friday, but the new technology is already confusing troublemakers.
"It's not working, it's supposed to," said one man as he tried and did not go through a turnstile at the 14th Street-Union Square station by clicking on his contactless credit card in the new "OMNY" reader.
"It will be fine when the system is operational."
Other cyclists tried to place their old subway cards in the technologically advanced readers installed in the metro turnstiles, which are designed to be used with credit cards or telephone applications.
"Can I keep using this?" Asked another person while holding his MetroCard.
The OMNY system (abbreviation for One Metro New York) now operates at 16 stations between Manhattan's Grand Central-42nd Street and the Atlantic-Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn along lines 4, 5 and 6. It is also installed on all Staten Island buses.
When asked about the initial problems of travelers with the system, MTA president Pat Foye said there would be an "education campaign" to make sure people knew how to use it.
But, he added to reporters during a press conference at the Bowling Green station, "There are people, including myself, who have to go through the MetroCard several times."
However, Foye described the launch of a "momentous occasion" and said there was no "option", but to modernize the MetroCard system of the agency, which is more than two decades old.
"The MetroCard has served New York well for more than 25 years," said Foye. "Any technological system with more than 25 years of age begins to wear out, maintenance costs increase more and more each year. So we had no choice but to replace the MetroCard. "
Foye said the new fare system "will help speed boarding on buses" and improve the metro experience for travelers "as they go through the system and save time."
The president, Andy Byford, director of New York City Transit, and the students of the Transit CTE High School in Brooklyn were the first to test the new system, and the young people had no problem in making it work.
"It was a good experience to be the first person to tap!" Said Thea Marrasti, 12th grade.
"It's something that you can look back on for the rest of your life and be like," Wow, I did that ".
The system will only be available at a full fare, with payment per trip until the MTA equips all metro and bus stations in the city with technology by 2020, officials said.
Over time, the MTA will add more fare options, including time-based pbades, reduced fares, and student fees.
In the third phase of the deployment in February 2021, the MTA will present an OMNY card that will be sold to companies such as CVS, Duane Reade and Rite Aid, said Al Putre, the executive of the MTA's OMNY program.
During that time, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will also be equipped with OMNY.
By 2022, OMNY vending machines will be installed at subway and commuter rail stations, and by 2023, the MetroCard will be officially removed, the MTA said.
Putre added that, eventually, pilgrims will be able to buy "a virtual ticket" in an application that is being developed.