MTA: Rate Cap Pilot Program for OMNY Begins February 28
STATEN ISLAND, NY — Starting later this month, New York City transit riders will pay no more than $33 a week for unlimited rides on local MTA buses and subways.
The MTA will launch a pilot fare cap program for OMNY, the agency’s contactless fare payment system, on Monday, February 28.
The highly anticipated pilot program, which will last at least four months, will grant bus and metro riders free rides once they have paid for 12 rides in a given week.
“The fare cap will save many of our passengers money and give them more flexibility,” said Sarah Meyer, MTA’s Chief Customer Officer. “At a time when New Yorkers are paying more for everyday items, the MTA is helping them save money on transportation, one of their most essential expenses.”
Currently, OMNY users can only use the tap-and-go system for single rides, which cost $2.75, frustrating commuters who typically rely on unlimited weekly or monthly MetroCards.
Unlimited Weekly and Monthly MetroCards, which cost $33 and $127 respectively, allow the MTA’s most frequent riders to prepay for an unlimited number of rides within the given time period, providing savings for those who swipe more than 12 times a week or 46 times. a month.
No such option has yet been made available for OMNY, which means passengers who tap more than 12 times per week or 46 times per month cannot enjoy the same savings as those using unlimited MetroCards.
This is where the new rate cap pilot program comes in.
Fare capping, which has been implemented in other transit hubs such as London, limits the total amount of fares passengers can be charged in a given period of time, with all subsequent journeys granted free of charge.
Beginning February 28, OMNY users will be charged $2.75 per ride for their first 12 rides of the week, starting each Monday.
Once the passenger has paid for 12 rides, all subsequent rides will be free until the following Sunday.
The fare cap pilot program will apply to all local buses, subway lines and Staten Island Railway.
The MTA will retain its current free transfer policy, but any two-part rides linked by a free transfer will only count as one of the 12 rides needed to meet the free ride requirement.
“Customers no longer have to choose between buying a weekly unlimited pass or paying per ride: with OMNY, they’ll always get the best deal automatically,” Meyers said.
“We hope passengers will embrace the new program, and we will monitor its impact on our operations and fare box revenues. If the pilot project is successful, we could extend it or make it permanent,” she added.
OMNY, the MTA’s new contactless payment, has been rolled out in phases over the past two years and is now available systemwide at all 472 subway stations, 5,800 buses, and all train stations in Staten Island.
The system allows users to use contactless cards, smartphones or other smart devices to simply tap to pay for their ride on all buses and subways in the MTA system, instead of dipping or swiping a MetroCard.
Currently, approximately 25% of all fare payments are made through the OMNY system, which has recorded over 100 million taps since its implementation.