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The era of the MetroCard is coming to an end: in 2024, OMNY will completely replace the old metro payment system

'08.01.2024'

Alina Prikhodko

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OMNY readers, which allow New Yorkers to pay with tap-to-pay rather than using a MetroCard, have officially been installed at every subway station in New York City, according to reports. Secret nyc.

The MTA first announced this in late 2020, when it said it had completed its OMNY rollout on schedule despite the pandemic. A retrospective of the iconic MetroCard machines was released at metro stations, dedicated to their final months. The complete transition of MetroCard machines to OMNY machines will take place in 2024. New Yorkers still have a little time to take advantage of the classic yellow cards.

OMNY officially launched in May 2019 and has since reached one billion. Customers can simply tap their bank card or phone (with digital wallet) on the OMNY reader when entering the station, instead of purchasing a MetroCard from a machine and topping it up. They claim it is more convenient for passengers and more environmentally friendly.

The first phase of the multi-year OMNY project includes more than 15 OMNY readers at all 000 stations, on all 472 buses and on the Staten Island Rail Road. Next up are Metro North and LIRR, which are currently in the process of installing OMNY. The MTA also launched a marketing program called “Tap On, Get On,” which helps explain to New Yorkers exactly how the process works.

Those without a smartphone can purchase the OMNY card, a contactless fare payment card, at retail stores and station vending machines. They can also be purchased with cash if you don't have a credit card. The MTA has also already begun introducing reduced fares for seniors and people with disabilities.

What will happen to NYC MetroCards now?

The MTA initially said they would be phased out by 2023. However, the date was then pushed back to 2024 due to delays caused by software problems. However, MTA Chairman Janno Lieber assured riders that they will not give up the MetroCard at any time frame that has been set so far. That is, until all work on the OMNY project is completed.

On the subject: The first OMNY card vending machines have opened in the New York subway: what passengers need to know

You will not be forced to switch to OMNY, and you will be able to use the cards until the time comes. But when the time comes, don't throw away your expired cards - they may soon become a relic.

Photo: IStock

The history of the legendary yellow cards

The New York City subway system is one of mankind's greatest achievements. A system that millions of people rely on every day. Of course, delays can make the trip less enjoyable, and the smell is often worse than a fermented vat of East River water. But the subway is what makes New York New York.

A turning point in the development of the metro as it is today: the appearance of the MetroCard. The impact that these plastic cards have had on the city over the past two decades cannot be overstated. They are the greatest thing that has ever happened to New York (well, other than the running water and the subway itself).

Because passengers could purchase an unlimited number of passes, they could move around the borough, make connections as they pleased, and work anywhere without worrying about being unable to get home. This may seem like a small thing today, but in the late 90s it was very important. MetroCard truly brought New York together.

They allow New Yorkers to identify tourists who are having difficulty getting through a turnstile. Even Hillary Clinton fell victim to this during her election campaign.

The MetroCard has become the key to the city for every New Yorker, and it's easy to take it for granted. But they had a huge impact on New York and everything that happened to it. It's hard not to call these miraculous magnetic cards the greatest thing that has ever happened to the city.

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