NEW YORK (PIX11) — For the first time in its history, riders can use the MTA’s fare payment system outside the subway and bus system. They can tap for the tram.
On Roosevelt Island on Thursday, officials announced the latest milestone for the technology. The tram is the first non-MTA facility to accept taps.
Riders expressed support for the program at turnstiles and bus stops. The MTA reports more people are using phones, devices, credit cards or OMNY cards. It’s about two million a day.
The MTA rolled out the new system for testing in 2019. All subway stations and buses had it by the end of 2020.
The MetroCard was supposed to be phased out by now, but the project has seen delays and some software challenges.
OMNY stands for One Metro New York.
But it has not worked elsewhere in the region or on the railroads. That was the promise, and it still is the eventual goal.
Riders of the AirTrain know firsthand, or they learn as soon as they try to get through the turnstiles. It would be easier to tap and go.
AirTrain is a Port Authority property that accepts MetroCards.
MTA Chairman and CEO Janno Lieber says the AirTrain should have it in three to four months.
“Tap-and-go is being adopted at warp speed by subway and bus riders, and we need to give that option to everyone who uses any type of transit – both New Yorkers and tourists alike,”
said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber.
The MetroCard metro card will work east through 2025. continuing to design the software to tie OMNY into the railroads.
The tram will continue to accept MetroCards. OMNY allows riders to participate in what’s known as the MTA’s “best fare,” 7-day fare capping program.
Customers’ first tap into the system, whether on the subway, bus or tram, will start a seven-day period using the same payment method.
Customers are charged $2.90 for their first 11 rides, $2.10 for their 12th ride and on the 13th ride, and for each subsequent ride, the ride is free for the rest of the 7-day period.
Customers will never pay more than $34 to ride in a seven-day period.