New York City subway riders will soon be able to use Apple Pay and Android Pay while traveling, as a modernization initiative for the transport system is finally under way.
Riders, however, might not want to throw away their MetroCards just yet, as it will take a bit more time before the New York City subway can finally let go of them.
New York City Subway To Soon Accept NFC Payments
A Metropolitan Transportation Authority committee approved a $573 million contact for a new system for fare payments. The system will utilize NFC technology to allow commuters to pay for their rides using various modern options, including Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The new system will replace the MetroCards, which have been the subject of disdain by many commuters due to reliability issues ever since the New York City subway started using them in 1993. Riders using MetroCards need to load their cards and swipe them on turnstiles to gain access to the trains. The hassle of falling in line to refill a MetroCard is a horrible experience during rush hours, and the turnstiles sometimes fail to read swiped cards correctly.
New York City subway riders who are very eager to throw away their MetroCards should not do so yet, though. The approved plan is to install the NFC-equipped systems on 500 subway turnstiles, along with 600 buses, by late 2018. The full rollout of the technology is not expected to be completed until late 2020.
The timeline is still much faster compared to previous plans of rolling out wireless payments in the New York City subways starting 2021. MetroCards, meanwhile, will not be phased out until 2023, which is 30 years since they first appeared.
New York City Subway To Follow Footsteps Of London Underground
The system that will find its way into the New York City subway will be adapted from the one that the London Underground has used for several years.
The company that was awarded the contract to supply the technology to the New York City subway is Cubic Transportation Systems. Cubic is one of the operators of the London Underground's Oyster system, so commuters can expect the same level of quality and efficiency for the incoming payment systems.
With the New York City subway to soon follow the footsteps of the London Underground, everyone involved becomes a winner. Riders will enjoy more convenient commutes, operators will have to face fewer problems, and companies behind wireless payment systems will see an influx of new customers.