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New York City rolls out contactless fare payment at every single subway station

I’m late to the party here, but I was reading this morning about how New York City recently completed the rollout of its One Metro New York (OMNY) fare payment system. What this does is allow you to use contactless payment systems, like Apple Pay, to get on the subway. ONMY is now available across the five boroughs on every bus and at all 472 subway stations (feel free to impress your friends at virtual parties with this stat).

Metrolinx here in Toronto is similarly piloting contactless payments on the Union Pearson Express. You now have the option of tapping a credit card, a phone, or a watch. Maybe this doesn’t seem like such a big deal, but I still remember when the PRESTO payment card was first rolled out — it felt late to me. Apple added near-field communication (NFC) to iPhone in 2014, and at that point I think it was fairly obvious that standalone payment cards wouldn’t be around much longer.

That time has arrived for New York City and will be hopefully arriving shortly for Toronto. And I think it will be particularly useful for tourists who may not have a Metrocard (NYC) or PRESTO card (Toronto) and just want to jump on a train. I’ve only taken the subway a handful of times during this pandemic, but I’ll be back at it once the world fully resumes. And I definitely can’t wait to take the UP Express to the airport again (and to the Junction).

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