Tap and Go Convenience of OMNY Now Available to More Than One Million Reduced-Fare Customers
First Major Transit System to Offer Reduced Fares Through Personal Payment Devices
Current Reduced-Fare Customers Can Upgrade to OMNY Online in 3 Easy Steps
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that Reduced-Fare customers can now put their reduced fare benefit on any personal payment device compatible with OMNY, becoming the first major transit system to offer reduced fares on personal payment devices. Seniors and people with disabilities who qualify for Reduced-Fare will now have more choice on how to pay their fare on public transit. The MTA is enabling customers to make this switch online, anytime from anywhere, in three easy steps.
Ahead of this systemwide launch, the MTA successfully conducted a multi-month soft launch, in which several hundred Reduced-Fare customers switched from MetroCard to OMNY online and used OMNY on subways and buses. The MTA solicited feedback from these customers to develop customer resources and instruct call center staff to ensure riders have a seamless transition to OMNY.
By using a contactless card or smart device, Reduced-Fare riders benefit from increased accessibility to the transit system in a variety of ways. Customers will no longer need to track a card that must be replaced upon expiration nor pre-load value onto a MetroCard. OMNY also gives Reduced-Fare customers the opportunity to benefit from the MTA’s ongoing “Lucky 13” fare capping program, where customers ride free after 12 paid OMNY taps in a week from Monday to Sunday.
“Every day, the MTA is proud to help over one million seniors, disabled riders, and other Reduced-Fare customers get around New York City,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “As we continue to see more and more customers use OMNY, today is a major milestone towards a full transition to the easy, contactless system. I encourage everyone who is eligible to take advantage of the simple online process to switch over to OMNY and start tapping today.”
“Many New Yorkers with disabilities rely on Reduced-Fare when accessing mass transit to get around the city,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer and Senior Advisor Quemuel Arroyo. “By enabling Reduced-Fare customers to make the switch to OMNY, we are making riding our transit system quicker and easier for all riders with the tap of their phone or contactless card.”
“The easiest way to ride New York City’s subways and buses is to tap and go with OMNY,” said Gene Ribiero, serving as Acting MTA Chief Customer Officer. “We are thrilled to provide this simple, seamless opportunity for Reduced-Fare customers to make the switch to OMNY today and to provide them the same tap and go convenience that millions of riders have taken advantage of already.”
“Reduced-Fare MetroCards can take a long time to acquire and replace, an issue that became even more urgent to address during COVID,” said Advisory Committee for Transit Accessibility (ACTA) Chair Jessica Murray. “I’m grateful to the OMNY team for working with ACTA to find an equitable payment solution for more than a million passengers who receive fare discounts. We hope that by prioritizing disabled people and older people, the next phase of the OMNY transition for students, paratransit riders, commuter rail passengers, and other special fare programs will be more accessible.”
“Disabled In Action is pleased that OMNY is now available for half fare customers,” said Disabled in Acton President Jean Ryan. “Many seniors and people with disabilities use mass transit regularly, and having the option to use our personal credit and debit cards or devices to pay our transit fares is a great convenience that we deserve as much as any other rider. We appreciate that the MTA will also offer a Reduced-Fare OMNY card later on in the program roll-out, for those who prefer that option.”
Reduced-Fare customers can make the switch from MetroCard to OMNY seamlessly online with the OMNY digital assistant, available 24/7 at OMNY.info. This process takes three easy steps – a how-to video for customers who want to switch to OMNY can be seen here.
Customers can visit omny.info and create a free OMNY account. From the homepage, customers should navigate to the Digital Assistant (or “chat”) and input their Reduced-Fare MetroCard information. Once the information is included, customers should select the contactless credit, debit card or smart device they would like as their OMNY payment method and put in an associated card number. When a “SUCCESS” message appears, the customer is now good to tap and go with OMNY and receive reduced fare on that card or device.
The OMNY call center is available to assist customers with the process as needed.
The MTA will soon also launch locations to help customers make the switch to OMNY in-person. In addition, for customers who do not have their own contactless payment cards or mobile devices, or who prefer to use a physical OMNY card, the MTA will begin providing free Reduced-Fare OMNY cards to eligible customers in 2023.
To inform Reduced-Fare customers that they can easily switch to OMNY, the MTA is launching a system-wide campaign with digital advertisements on subway and bus, a new OMNY for Reduced-Fare webpage, and extensive digital and in-person outreach to seniors and people with disabilities across New York City.
OMNY usage continues to surge across the New York City Transit system. On Sept. 15, the MTA recorded the 500 millionth OMNY tap at Grand Central Terminal, and on Saturday, Oct. 8 OMNY usage on the subway reached a weekend record of 1.071 million taps.