Apple Pay to Make Its N.Y.C. Subway Debut on May 31

By Anna Breuer on 30 May 2019
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IMG_2320Apple said that its Apple Pay tap-to-pay mobile wallet and contactless card payment system will work on select New York City subway routes starting May 31.

The city’s contactless fare payment system, OMNY, which is short for One Metro New York, features a contactless fare collection system similar to those in use in other major cities. It will be available to those accessing the subway’s 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central Terminal and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn as well as on all Staten Island buses.

In addition to Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Fitbit Pay as well as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cards that support contactless payment will also work with OMNY.

At launch, OMNY will only support pay-per-ride fares and no advance purchase is required. As the MTA rolls it out, OMNY will support reduced fares and time-based passes similar to what is available now.

To use OMNY with an Apple iPhone or Apple Watch, users will have to activate the Express Transit feature in Settings. The feature is available in iOS 12.3 and watchOS 5.2.1 or later and is supported on iPhone SE and 6S or newer phones and Series 1 and Series 2 or later watches.

Once Express Transit is turned on, it will not be necessary to authenticate using Face ID or Touch ID when transiting a turnstile.

OMNY will first be available on the city’s subways and buses and then on commuter rail lines. It will be available on all bus and subway routes by the end of 2020.

When the first subway began operations in New York, paper tickets cost five cents. The city discontinued paper tickets with the introduction of the turnstile, which required the insertion of a nickel and, starting in 1948, a dime. The once ubiquitous subway token was introduced in 1953, when fares rose to 15 cents. Tokens were phased out in 2003 in favor of the MetroCard, which had been introduced in 1994. The city plans to eliminate the MetroCard by 2023.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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