The MTA's new tap-to-pay fare system has many more users than the agency expected. After sharing higher-than-forecasted numbers from Saturday (the first full day of service), the latest user numbers (which reflect numbers from Saturday through Wednesday) reveal that 38,987 people have used OMNY at pilot locations.
Of the nearly 39,000 users, 36,470 have been subway riders and the other 2,517 have been bus passengers. The MTA had expected weekly usage to be about 6,000-12,000 users on the subways and 800-1,500 on buses.
Riders can use OMNY by digital wallets or contactless credit/debit cards. It's being rolled out this year and next, with all NYC Transit subway stations and buses getting OMNY by the end of 2020. Currently, OMNY is only available at pilot stops (the 16 4/5/6 stations between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Staten Island bus routes), and for full $2.75 fares; options for reduced, student, or "unlimited" fares will be available by the end of 2020. The MTA will then introduce OMNY to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North in 2021. The MetroCard will ultimately be phased out by 2023.
MTA Chairman Pat Foye said in a statement, "New Yorkers know a good thing when they see one, and have adopted OMNY at rates that already exceed even our most ambitious pre-launch forecasts. This is part of a systemwide modernization effort to give customers the transit system they deserve, saving people time and helping them get where they’re going faster and with fewer hassles. The entire team working on the move to contactless payments remains steadfastly committed to getting this right and we look forward to even broader OMNY use, and an expansion to the rest of the system over the coming years."
Further, the MTA noted that the number of users that needed to tap more than once to enter dropped from 5% on Saturday to about 2% on Wednesday.