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OMNY Card System Set to Transform Student Commutes

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photo Anim Sams
The new OMNY card.

Students will be getting OMNY-enabled student cards starting the 2024-2025 school year, the MTA announced in May.

The transition to OMNY student cards is part of the MTA’s broader initiative to phase out the older MetroCard system by 2025, signaling a big move towards a more efficient and technologically advanced public transportation system.

A member of the technology staff at Pace, Johnny Li, said that there has been no official confirmation from the DOE about the transition to OMNY cards yet.

By simply tapping their OMNY card on a reader, students will be able to access subways and buses more seamlessly than ever before.

The contactless nature of OMNY reduces the time spent at turnstiles and minimizes the need for physical transactions, providing a faster and more hygienic way to travel.

Sophomore Devon Singh said, “I think that OMNY would be more technologically advanced and would make going to school much easier.”

Mr. Li, an OMNY card user, has pointed out many cons about the usage of student enabled OMNY cards. He expressed that in the event that a student loses their OMNY card, the suspension and replacement of the cards could be very tedious.

In addition to the physical OMNY cards, students will also have the ability to add their OMNY cards to their phones through Apple Pay or Google Pay. “But after that, for the future, it’ll be all on a phone” said MTA CEO Janno Lieber.

MTA officials have expressed their dedication to delivering a more efficient and cost-effective fare payment system.

MTA Construction & Development President Jamie Torres-Springer emphasized the accelerated pace and budget adherence of the OMNY program, stating, “Since taking the reins, we’ve accelerated the pace of the OMNY program and kept it on budget.” Though the OMNY card costs $5 to purchase with a minimum of $1 balance during the purchase. Whereas, a traditional MetroCard costs $1 to purchase.

MTA Chief Customer Officer Shanifah Rieara emphasized the agency’s ongoing efforts to enhance customer experience, noting that “Billions of taps prove that OMNY is the most cost-effective and easy way to pay your fare”.

The DOE has yet to release any information directly to schools about the OMNY cards,, but amongst the many milestones listed by the MTA for the upcoming year, student OMNY MetroCards have been mentioned.

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Anim Sams
Anim Sams, Reporter

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