Before I get into it, let's first talk about the Express Transit installation process, as the Apple Pay feature is called. When you go to the "Wallet & Apple Pay" settings on the iPhone, you see an option called the Express Transit Card. After you tap it, you will need to choose a credit or debit card, which will be used as a standard payment for your public transport routes. I already have a few cards stored on my iPhone for use with Apple Pay, so all I had to do was choose one of them. So, after a quick Face ID approval, I was ready to go. The whole process took less than a minute.
When I got to the metro station, I just placed my iPhone next to the OMNY reader on the turnstile and then the screen showed a message saying" GO. "I didn't have to open an app or unlock my phone to get through, and the same goes for Apple Watch and Android phone with Google Pay that I tested. The fact that I didn't have to swipe my old MetroCard to Try to catch a train was quite satisfactory, not only because it feels futuristic, but because it means I don't have to go to a vending machine to fill my card or worry about it being lost or stolen.
Unfortunately , right now the OMNY system only works for single fare, but MTA says that by the end of 2020 all types of fares will be supported, including weekly and monthly passes. At the launch, OMNY only works on 16 subway stations of 4, 5 and 6 lines between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center (Brooklyn) and Grand Central 42nd Street (Manhattan), as well as all le buses on Staten Island. An MTA spokesman told Engadget that several stations and buses will be revised towards the end of 2019. Today's OMNY launch is just the start of MTA's plan to replace the use of swipeable MetroCard, a system that has existed since 1993, by 2023. And if you don't have Apple Pay or Google Pay, don't worry: MTA is convinced it's "agnostic platform" so you can also use services like Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay. In addition, in 2021, MTA plans to introduce its own OMNY-branded contactless transit card, if there are NYC residents who would not use Apple, Google and others technology either.