New York City subway riders know the frustration of seeing “Insufficient Fare” flash on the turnstile as their train pulls into the station, forcing them to top up at the kiosk and miss their ride. Mobile payments have eased that burden for some riders, and now there’s another payment option there: Apple Pay.
Apple Pay is now accepted at all subway stations and in buses across New York’s five boroughs; 15,000 OMNY readers at 472 stations and 5,800 buses. It’s part of the MTA’s One Metro New York (ONMY) payment system, which is on track to replace plastic MetroCards by 2023. Though some stations have been testing Apple Pay since 2019, the feature is now available at every location, AppleInsider reports.
The OMNY system works with contactless cards and smartphones or devices like smartwatches. Users can pay for individual rides via Apple Pay, though there is no way to purchase unlimited monthly or weekly passes just yet. MTA will add more fare options this year and next, and Metro North and LIRR are expected to receive OMNY in 2022.
OMNY also works with Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Fitbit Pay, as well as contactless cards from Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover.
Contactless payment users get free transfers, but you need to use the same method of payment for all legs of the trip. There’s a lengthy FAQ on the OMNY website for those curious about how it works.