Frequently asked questions

How OMNY works

How does OMNY work?

With OMNY, you can use your own contactless card or smart device to ride with the MTA. Just choose your preferred payment method, tap at an OMNY reader, and go!

Where can I use OMNY?

As OMNY is rolled out, the number of places and ways you can use OMNY will expand. Starting on May 31, 2019, you can use OMNY onboard all Staten Island MTA buses and at all subway station entrances on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central-42 Street and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. OMNY will be rolled out to all other bus lines, subway stations, and Staten Island Railway locations by late 2020, and to commuter rail by early 2021.

OMNY will support a full-fare, pay-per-ride option first, with free transfers at OMNY-enabled subway stations and bus routes. Additional fare options will be available during future phases of the rollout, such as weekly passes, monthly passes, reduced fares, student fares, and more.

What are all the ways I can pay with OMNY?

With OMNY, you can use your own contactless credit, debit, or reloadable prepaid card, as well as digital wallets supported by your smart phone or wearable.

Credit cards issued on the Visa®, Mastercard®, and American Express® networks are accepted. Cards issued on the Discover® network will be supported soon.

Debit, ATM, and reloadable prepaid cards from most banks and financial institutions are accepted.

Digital wallets from various providers are supported, including Google Pay™, Apple Pay®, Samsung Pay®, and Fitbit Pay™, among others.

How do I know if my card is contactless and can be used with OMNY?

Contactless cards have a symbol displayed on the front or back of the card, as shown below.

If this symbol is displayed on your chip-enabled card, it can be used at OMNY readers across the system. The technology used to transmit data with OMNY readers is called Near-Field Communication (NFC). This contactless symbol indicates that your chip-enabled card supports NFC technology.

If you do not have a chip-enabled card with this symbol, you can request one by contacting your bank or financial institution. If you have a chip-enabled card without this symbol, you can still add that card to a digital wallet on your smart phone or wearable, and tap your smart device on OMNY readers across the system.

How do I know if my smart device can be used with OMNY?

Smart devices can support digital wallets, which are applications that support mobile payments on smartphones and wearables. Like contactless cards, smart devices also use NFC technology. Before you can make a mobile payment, you must link your card to a digital wallet on your smart device.

Do I always have to use the same payment method with OMNY?

You can choose between as many payment methods as you prefer, as long as your payment method is a type that can be accepted at OMNY readers throughout the system. Click here to learn more about contactless payments. Keep in mind that only one payment method can be used to pay each fare at a single time. At this time, OMNY cannot support partial payments or split payments.

Important: You must use the same payment method throughout each individual trip to qualify for benefits like free transfers. For example, if you tap your contactless card to ride the subway, you must tap that same contactless card to obtain your free transfer to a local bus. You cannot switch between your contactless card and other payment methods and still obtain your free transfer. If you switch between payment methods during an individual trip, your transfer will be treated as a new trip, and you will be charged for your transfer.

I have multiple contactless cards in my physical wallet. Which card will be charged if I tap my physical wallet on an OMNY reader?

To ensure that the fare is charged to your preferred payment method, please remove your card from your physical wallet and tap it on the OMNY reader. This will prevent you from accidentally charging other cards in your physical wallet.

OMNY is a contactless payment system and will accept payment from any NFC-enabled contactless card. Since OMNY does not know which card is your preferred payment method, the system will charge your fare to the first card that it reads.

I have multiple cards in my digital wallet. Which card will be charged if I tap my smart device on an OMNY reader?

To ensure that the fare is charged to your preferred payment method, please select the card in your digital wallet that you want to use and tap your smart device on the OMNY reader. Depending on the digital wallet you are using, and the number of cards in your digital wallet, you may need to select a default card.

What are OMNY readers?

OMNY readers are the face of the MTA’s new contactless fare payment system. OMNY readers serve as point-of-sale terminals, allowing you to pay your fare and enter the system – all in a split second. Click here to learn more about OMNY readers, including what the OMNY reader screens mean.

Can I see my fare on the OMNY reader?

The fare to be charged to your payment method will not be visible on the OMNY reader screen. However, you will be able to access information about fares charged to your payment method. Simply log into your OMNY Account and access your personalized dashboard to view this activity.

How do I know if my payment method was charged?

Your fares are currently charged individually for each trip. You will see each charge on the statement associated with your payment method.

Important: Your payment method will be authorized the first time it is tapped on an OMNY reader. This will trigger an authorization amount of $2.70 or $2.75 depending on your payment method. This authorization amount is temporary and will be reversed when the actual fare is charged to your payment method. In the case of your express bus trip, you will only be charged $6.75, and the $2.75 authorization will be reversed.

What can I do if my payment was not accepted at the OMNY reader?

If you tap your contactless card or smart device and the OMNY reader indicates that the payment was not accepted, you will need to use another payment method to pay for your ride. Your payment may not be accepted for a few reasons. For example, if your payment method has been blocked by your bank or by the MTA, or your smart device is damaged, then you will not be able to use that payment method at any OMNY reader until the issue is resolved.

To resolve an issue with your card, please contact your bank. In the meantime, you can use another card, including a card in your digital wallet, or MetroCard.

If you are having trouble with your digital wallet, you may need to remove your card from your digital wallet and add it back in.

It is possible that your payment method has been blocked if we have not received payment for a prior fare. Until payment is received for that fare, that payment method will remain blocked, even if you use other payment methods in the meantime.

How can I get my blocked payment method accepted again?

Once you have resolved the issue with your payment method, there are a few ways to start using OMNY again:

  • Online: If you have an OMNY Account, sign in, access your personalized dashboard, and check your account activity for any charge that was not accepted. After you locate the charge in question, follow the prompts to reauthorize payment. You will receive a confirmation message if the reauthorization is successful. Once the transaction is made successfully, it can take up to 15 minutes before you can continue to the same payment method at OMNY readers.
  • Phone: Contact OMNY Customer Service by calling 511. Once the transaction is made successfully, it usually takes up to 15 minutes before you can continue to the same payment method at OMNY readers.

Can I still receive free transfers with OMNY?

Yes. The same free transfer rules that apply to MetroCard also apply to OMNY. Your free transfer will not be visible on the OMNY reader screen. Your free transfer will be determined at the end of each day, before your payment method is charged.

Important: You must use the same payment method throughout each individual trip to qualify for benefits like free transfers. For example, if you tap your contactless card to ride the subway, you must tap that same contactless card to obtain your free transfer to a local bus. You cannot switch between your contactless card and other payment methods and still obtain your free transfer. If you switch between payment methods during an individual trip, your transfer will be treated as a new trip, and you will be charged for your transfer.

Can I still pay for multiple riders with OMNY?

Yes. The same pass-back rules that apply to MetroCard also apply to OMNY. You can tap and pay for yourself and up to 3 additional riders with the same payment method on a single trip. You will need to tap your payment method for each person that is riding with you. Each tap will result in a full-fare charge. Each person will also be eligible for free transfers. Taps and transfers cannot be moved between OMNY and MetroCard.

Important: You are limited to tapping and paying for yourself and 3 additional riders with the same payment method at a single OMNY reader. You may continue using the same payment method at a different OMNY reader. However, if you do so, the 4 free transfers associated with the original 4 taps will be forfeited. If you are traveling with more than 3 additional riders, it is recommended that you use multiple payment methods to prevent the forfeiture of free transfers. Each payment method can support up to 4 riders and 4 free transfers on a single trip.

Can I switch between my contactless card and my smart device during my trip?

Important: You must use the same payment method throughout each individual trip to qualify for benefits like free transfers. For example, if you tap your contactless card to ride the subway, you must tap that same contactless card to obtain your free transfer to a local bus. You cannot switch between your contactless card and other payment methods and still obtain your free transfer. If you switch between payment methods during an individual trip, your transfer will be treated as a new trip, and you will be charged for your transfer.

Can I switch between OMNY and MetroCard during my trip?

Important: You must use the same fare payment system throughout each individual trip to qualify for benefits like free transfers. For example, if you use OMNY to ride the subway, you must use OMNY to obtain your free transfer to a local bus that is equipped with OMNY. You cannot switch between OMNY and MetroCard and still obtain your free transfer. If you switch between OMNY and MetroCard during an individual trip, your transfer will be treated as a new trip, and you will be charged for your transfer.

Are weekly passes or monthly passes available with OMNY?

Not yet. As OMNY is rolled out, you will have access to additional fare options that are comparable to what is available with MetroCard today, including time-based passes. However, you can still access these fare options today using MetroCard.

Are reduced fares or student fares available with OMNY?

Not yet. As OMNY is rolled out, you will have access to additional fare options that are comparable to what is available with MetroCard today, including reduced fares or student fares. However, you can still access these fare options today using MetroCard.

Can I use my transit benefit card with OMNY?

If your transit benefit provider has issued you a contactless credit, debit, or reloadable prepaid card, you should be able to use that card at an OMNY reader and register that card in your OMNY Account. This mainly depends on whether the contactless card is NFC-enabled. Please contact your transit benefit provider for more information about the contactless card capabilities, as well as to determine if their payment products can also be supported in digital wallets.

Can I transfer my MetroCard to OMNY?

MetroCard and OMNY are two separate systems, so it is not possible to transfer MetroCard value or passes to OMNY. However, as OMNY is rolled out, we will introduce fare options that are comparable to what is available with MetroCard today.

Helpful links

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