You might have come across the ominous acronym OMNY before. It stands for “One Metro New York”. OMNY is the newly introduced universal system of payment for the Subway (Metro) and the buses in all of New York City. Find out all about OMNY here: how it works, how to use it and what it changes for your next trip to New York trip!
UPDATE: Since August 2023, the fare cap also works beyond the weekend! Previously, this was only valid from Monday to Sunday – now also from Thursday to Wednesday of the following week, for example.
OMNY Metro New York in a nutshell
- will replace the MetroCard for the Subway & MTA buses starting in 2023
- until then Metrocard will still work as well
- contactless payment directly via credit card, smartphone or smartwatches
- Payment possible via Google Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay.
- Long Island Rail Road trains and Metro-North Railroad to be supported later this year
Is the OMNY valid everywhere?
You can use the One Metro New York (OMNY) on any New York City bus and on all New York City Subway lines, regardless in which of the boroughs you are traveling in New York.
How much does One Metro New York cost?
The OMNY service itself is free – as is creating your account (where you can track all your previous rides and bills). Prices stay the same.
Paying with cash will still be supported in the future, albeit via a detour: at designated stations, use cash to top up your contactless MTA Transit Card. Then, you can enter the Subway stations using this card. The new MTA Transit Card will be available from 2021.
How OMNY works in New York
To use the new system, you first need to sign up on the official site – don’t worry, it’s free and quick:
- Visit the website and register
- Enter your payment method
- Confirm account via email link
Here you can see how easily I signed up
All trips & costs in one spot
With your account you can manage everything, from the payment methods to the password. And what I really like: you can quickly see which trips you have made – including the corresponding receipts. With this, I feel like I can more efficiently use the subway and buses in New York and at the same time keep a great overview on costs and trips!
How to use OMNY on the subway
At every subway station and on the bus, you’ll find the new OMNY terminals in front of the MetroCard readers. All you have to do is hold your contactless credit card, smartphone or watch close to the display (at the “TAP HERE” point), the corresponding amount will be charged and you can board the platform. You can recognize this by the fact that the OMNY reader lights up green and a “GO” flashes up:
The OMNY in the video
The OMNY-Card’s (surprisingly entertaining) instruction video is definitely worth a watch!
How the OMNY works
By the way: I also recommend doing the same for the NYC Ferry, so you can effortlessly order tickets for it on the spot via your smartphone without having to wait in line!
Also: Take a look at my NYC Ferry-Guide, where I give you an overview of all the options and highlights.
OMNY in New York
My honest thougts on the OMNY
Contactless payment is already commonplace in many areas, and I think it’s good that you can now actually pay quite easily with your watch, credit card or phone. In cities like London and Tokyo, this is also quite normal.
The only “downside” to all of this is that with the loss of the iconic yellow MetroCards there is a bit of nostalgia disappearing from the city.
Frequently asked questions
What does OMNY stand for?
The acronym stands for “One Metro New York” and is – in my opinion – a pretty solid name!
Which credit cards are supported?
You can use the Subway via OMNY with all kinds of credit cards, regardless if it’s a classic credit card, a debit card or a prepaid card. The only important thing is that it supports contactless payment (which all newer cards do anway).
My tip: You can recognize that the credit card works contactless by this symbol (see picture).
When will the MetroCard be replaced?
The MetroCard will still be around until 2023 – after that, One Metro New York will take over and no other payment options are viable anymore.
What happens if you have multiple credit cards in your wallet?
It is recommended that you take the credit card out of your wallet and hold it up to the OMNY reader that you want to use to pay for the ride. Otherwise, the system will not know which is your preferred credit card and will simply charge the first credit card it finds in your wallet.
I have multiple credit cards stored in my smartphone/watch. Which card will be charged?
The principle here is similar: it’s best to select the credit card in the Wallet that you want to be charged and then point the Watch or your smartphone at the OMNY reader.