Starting next week, commuters will be able to use MTA’s OMNY contactless payments system to travel to and from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The OMNY “Tap and Go” readers will be installed at select gates in the Jamaica and Howard Beach stations, and travelers will be able to tap their phone, smartwatch, or contactless card to pay for the $8.25 fare.
According to New York Governor Kathy Hochul, this is the first step of the integration, and she expects more OMNY readers to be integrated into all fare gates by the end of next year.
“At the airports, our job is to provide a consistent, world-class customer experience for travelers from around the world,” said Kevin O’Toole, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman in a prepared statement. “Contactless readers offers travelers an intuitive, hassle-free fare payment option and will greatly improve the customer experience at AirTrain JFK.”
Janno Lieber, MTA Chair and CEO also added: “In September subway and bus customers tapped more than 2 million times on a single day, and now they’ll be able to use OMNY at the AirTrain JFK for much quicker passenger flow to and from the airport. Whether you’re headed to catch a plane or returning home to New York, AirTrain riders can now take full advantage of this time-saving and seamless way to travel in the city.”
Contactless Transit Systems
New York isn’t the only region that’s embraced contactless payment systems. In fact, riders in the U.S. can also use contactless payments with Chicago’s Ventra, Dallas’ DART or Portland’s TriMet.
Globally, transit systems in London, Japan, and South Korea—to name a few—have also embraced contactless payments in a move to offer riders convenience and choice in the way they pay.
And more regions are modernizing their transit systems as well. Earlier this year, the Netherlands launched a contactless payment system, which works across its public trains, buses, and trams, letting riders pay seamlessly without worrying about purchasing different tickets or having to use different types of payment systems.