Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by photobug56
 
No store near me would handle them.
  by eolesen
 
For activation on Metra, it's almost always after you board, never before. Ticket checks are announced on the PA, and everyone whips out their phone.

There's always the chance you'll hit the "Conductor too busy" lottery and not have to activate your ticket, but that's the cost of doing business when you are short staffing your crews...

Sent from my SM-G981U using Tapatalk

  by Allan
 
The MTA has announced that OMNY for Reduced fare begins this June (they didn't give an exact date.

https://new.mta.info/fares/reduced-fare/omny

Initially it will only apply to a registered contactless credit or debit card, smartphone, or wearable device.

A Reduced Fare OMNY card will be made available later this year.

There is an online form to fill out to get more info/notifications if you are a Reduced Fare card holder and want an RF OMNY card rather than use your own contactless card/device:
https://reducedfare.mta.info/omny-registration/

At this point I will stick with my Reduced Fare card but will get the Reduced fare OMNY card when it becomes available.
  by Allan
 
I forgot to add that the NY Transit Museum store in GCT has the OMNY Card.

The cost is $16.00 ($11.00 in fare value, $5 for the cost of the card).

The store does not have the ability to add value to the OMNY Card.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
Adding value after acquisition isn't really a problem, you can take it to other places that sell them to add value, and you can replenish via credit card on the website if you register it.
  by Allan
 
No real qualms with the online refills (I'll get into that later) but as for finding places that sell them to do the refill - that could be an issue (at least at the moment). I have been following postings on another forum (starts with an R) and what I have been seeing what other post indicate things are not going quite as well as the MTA had expected.

Example: 7-11 stores - it appears that in a number of cases the employees there still cannot figure out how to use their point-of-sale terminals to refill the cards (I even checked the 7-11 a few blocks from where I live and got a blank stare when I asked about refilling an OMNY card. BTW - this store actually had a spot on the gift card carousel for the OMNY card but that since has disappeared).

Now, as for online refills - Don't assume that everyone has a computer or wants to have a direct online link from their debit/credit card to an OMNY card. A lot of people prefer to be able to add value (or pass) in a machine when they need to. This is especially true for Senior Citizens. You should see the long lines for the MetroCard Van or Bus when those visit my community. Also do not assume that everyone (regardless of age) has a debit or credit card.

As for me, when I get my Reduced Fare card sometime later this year, I will consider online refills (as needed refills not automatic ones) but will prefer doing it in person when possible.
  by Head-end View
 
I hadn't thought about this before. Is there currently no way to refill an OMNY card at a subway station the way you can with a Metrocard?
  by daybeers
 
That is correct.
  by Head-end View
 
Ohhhh!............You gotta be kidding! I'd expect that nonsense from SEPTA or MBTA, but not in New York City! Do we know if this is to be the permanent arrangement or will OMNY fare machines eventually start appearing in stations?

Or to put it another way: Let me get this straight; you can't add fare to your NYC Subway fare card at a NYC subway station?

What next? No pancakes at IHOP and no hamburgers at McDonalds?

And here's a logistical question: Suppose you go to enter the subway and find you have insufficient fare left on your card? With a Metrocard, you go to the machine and add some fare. What will you do with your OMNY card?
  by photobug56
 
Allan wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 4:25 pm No real qualms with the online refills (I'll get into that later) but as for finding places that sell them to do the refill - that could be an issue (at least at the moment). I have been following postings on another forum (starts with an R) and what I have been seeing what other post indicate things are not going quite as well as the MTA had expected.

Example: 7-11 stores - it appears that in a number of cases the employees there still cannot figure out how to use their point-of-sale terminals to refill the cards (I even checked the 7-11 a few blocks from where I live and got a blank stare when I asked about refilling an OMNY card. BTW - this store actually had a spot on the gift card carousel for the OMNY card but that since has disappeared).

Now, as for online refills - Don't assume that everyone has a computer or wants to have a direct online link from their debit/credit card to an OMNY card. A lot of people prefer to be able to add value (or pass) in a machine when they need to. This is especially true for Senior Citizens. You should see the long lines for the MetroCard Van or Bus when those visit my community. Also do not assume that everyone (regardless of age) has a debit or credit card.

As for me, when I get my Reduced Fare card sometime later this year, I will consider online refills (as needed refills not automatic ones) but will prefer doing it in person when possible.
I recently got my Senior card, and plan to try and navigate the online form that's supposed to let me refill it online. Hope I succeed, since it will make using it much easier than hoping the card machines on either end of the Pitts of Penn are working.
  by photobug56
 
Head-end View wrote: Wed May 18, 2022 7:36 pm Ohhhh!............You gotta be kidding! I'd expect that nonsense from SEPTA or MBTA, but not in New York City! Do we know if this is to be the permanent arrangement or will OMNY fare machines eventually start appearing in stations?

Or to put it another way: Let me get this straight; you can't add fare to your NYC Subway fare card at a NYC subway station?

What next? No pancakes at IHOP and no hamburgers at McDonalds?

And here's a logistical question: Suppose you go to enter the subway and find you have insufficient fare left on your card? With a Metrocard, you go to the machine and add some fare. What will you do with your OMNY card?
Curse out the OMNY and the people running the project that is years behind schedule - but not too loudly!
  by Allan
 
"And here's a logistical question: Suppose you go to enter the subway and find you have insufficient fare left on your card? With a Metrocard, you go to the machine and add some fare. What will you do with your OMNY card?"

What I would do (and in fact will do) - put an amount on the OMNY Card that is equal to a specific number of rides (that you want to add) at the current fare. I do that now with my Reduced Fare MetroCard. And when it gets down to only a few fares I load more money on it. While I intend to use my RF MetroCard until it expires in May 2023, if I get my Reduced fare OMNY card earlier than that I'll just hold it and once I start to use it, if the machines have not be installed in stations I'll add money online as I need it.

[For the sake of transparency - I am a retired financial /budget analyst (worked for a large bank) so figuring these things out comes somewhat easy for me.]

If your OMNY card does run out of money (shame on you for not keeping track), if your credit or debit card is contactless you can always use it at the turnstile - you'll be charged the full fare rather than the reduced fare but at least you'll be able to enter.

If you want to, you can register the OMNY card,, link it to a debit or credit card and set up an auto refill - at an amount you specify when the balance gets below a set amount.
  by Head-end View
 
Good summary Allan. It'll actually work a lot like E-Z Pass with the automatic refills. It just annoys me to have to set up yet another account with a password, etc. Like we don't already have enough of that kind of complication in our lives.

And again I say: They shoulda just stuck with tokens.
  by daybeers
 
They definitely should not have kept tokens. The OMNY fare machines will be installed this year and next, just like how the faregates were gradually updated. It's easy to refill online, and the auto-refill is available. Vast majority of OMNY users right now are using contactless cards and devices. Those methods of payment are being opened up to reduced fares in June: https://new.mta.info/fares/reduced-fare/omny
  by MACTRAXX
 
H-E View: I understand your thoughts on the simplicity of tokens...The two major Metrocard incentives from 1997 and 1998 were the implementations of free transfers between Subway and Bus and the beginning of sales of 1-7-30 Day Unlimited Metrocards respectively. In my opinion a NYCT Token would have been the perfect "single ride" instead of the entry paper cards sold in MVMs...Tokens could be used over and over again and were good until they were used...A single ride card costs more and is only valid for 2 hours from the time of sale and does not offer the free transfer option for those who may be unaware...Even with the 1997-1998 incentives tokens were used until the 2003 fare increase drawdown - when the NYCT fare rose from $1.50 to $2.00 tokens were accepted on buses only from July to December 2003 along with a 50 cent coin addition...For the record the last transport service to use NYCT tokens was the Roosevelt Island Tram until Spring 2004 when tokens there were finally fully phased out in favor of the Metrocard...

What is going to be interesting as the 2020s Decade goes on is how long that it is going to take the MTA to fully implement in all transit services the OMNY Card - Along with NYCT both Nassau County's NICE Bus and Westchester County's Bee-Line System - This is going to be a multi-year effort by the MTA to replace the Metrocard that is already some time behind schedule...There may have to be incentives something similar to what Metrocard offered back in 1997-1998 for riders to switch over to the OMNY system... The $5 initial card charge is bound to be a barrier to some potential users - a thought could be for that initial fee to be placed on the card towards fares upon registration to the MTA...

Another thought in the OMNY Card subject is that there is going to be a percentage of riders that are not going to chance using a debit or credit card at turnstiles - and should continue to use the C/D MVMs at stations to purchase OMNY fares once they are compatible with the new system...

PATH is already implementing their own smart card system and depending on the relationship between the MTA and the PA of NY & NJ they should cross honor both card types on transit services...

I think that the Metrocard is NOT going away anytime soon - and judging by as example how long it actually took for the Metrocard to fully replace tokens (9 years 1994-2003) on NYCT OMNY may not be fully deployed until the late 2020s on every service that currently uses Metrocards...MACTRAXX
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