Tap-and-pay comes to New York City subway system

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It’s as simple as tap and go. At noon on Friday, riders on the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines between Grand Central in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center in Brooklyn could begin using turnstiles with Google Pay, Apple Pay or credit cards equipped with tap-and-pay technology.

The new payment option, dubbed OMNY, is also available on all Staten Island buses. That is a big gain for that borough where Metro Card vending machines are scarce.

OMNY will only offer a full-fare pay-per-ride choice for now. This initial rollout is more of a public test that will allow the MTA to iron out any bumps along the way.

All of the city’s subway and buses will be equipped with this new technology by October 2020.

Shortly afterward, the MTA will launch and OMNY app to allow riders to use unlimited passes use passes, or pay reduced fares.

Plastic OMNY, which will replace vinyl swipe MetroCards, will be released in 2021. Riders will be able to load those cards with cash at storefronts at first, and later at vending machines in subway stations.

By 2023 the transit authority says MetroCards will be a thing of the past.

Ydanis Rodríguez, New York City Council’s transportation chair, called it an exciting move, though he can’t help but worry about privacy issues.

"I believe that there’s going to be a lot of concern to be sure that the data or information will not be used by a third party," Rodríguez said.