MTA rolled out its new "loss-and-go" ticketing system on more than a dozen stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Friday – but the new technology is already confusing straphangers.
"It doesn't work. It should," said a man he tried and failed to pass through a turn at the 14th Street Union Square station by tapping his contactless credit card on the new "OMNY" reader.
"It will be good when the system is in operation."
Other riders tried to put their old MetroCards up to the technologically advanced readers set up on the subway, which are designed for use with credit cards or telephone calls.
"Can I still use this?" Another commuter asked when she held up MetroCard.
The OMNY system ̵
Asked about commuters early problems with the system, MTA's leader Pat Foye noted that it would be an "education campaign" to make sure people knew how to use it.
But, he added journalists during a press conference at the Bowling Green station, "There are people, including me, who must have several swipes through with MetroCard."
Nevertheless, Foye welcomed the launch of an "important occasion" and said there was no choice but to modernize the agency's more than two decade old MetroCard system.
"MetroCard has earned New York well over 25 years," Foye said. "Any 25-year-old plus technological system is starting to go down, maintenance costs are getting higher and higher each year. So we had no choice but to replace MetroCard."
Foye said the new ticketing system will "help boarding on buses "and improve commuter metro experience" as they move through the system and save time. "
The chairman, New York City Transit leader Andy Byford and students from Brooklyn's Transit Tech CTE High School were among the first to tried the new system – and the youngsters had no problem getting it to work.
"It was a good experience to be the first valiant!" 12. Deg Thea Marrasti said.
"It's something you can look back on for the rest of your life and be like," Wow, I did. ""
The system will only be available at full price, pay-per-turn basis before MTA equips all the city's metro stations and buses with the technology by 2020, officials said.
Over time, MTA will add more cost options, including time-based passes, reduced rates, and student fees.
In the third phase of the rollout in February 2021, MTA will introduce an OMNY card that will be sold to companies such as CVS, Duane Reade and Rite Aid, said Al Putre, MTA's OMNY presenter.
During that time, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road will also be equipped with OMNY.
By 2022, OMNY vending machines will be installed on subway and shuttle train stations, and by 2023, MetroCard will be officially phased out, the MTA said.
Putre added that eventually straphangers will be able to buy "a virtual ticket" on an app being developed.