Interstate commuters traversing New York and New Jersey will have a new way to enter PATH trains beginning in 2021.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey disclosed plans on Thursday to adopt the MTA’s new tap-to-pay OMNY system, as part of its $1 billion initiative to improve service on the PATH.
All 13 stations in Manhattan and New Jersey will be outfitted with the new technology, enabling riders to seamlessly transfer from the PATH to the subway system. The Port Authority plans to complete OMNY installations by the end of 2022.
SmartLink cards, the tap-to-pay technology now used on the PATH but not on the subway, will remain until 2023.
The Port Authority did not immediately return a request for comment.
OMNY, in its current form, is a single-fare payment system, with weekly and monthly options to launch after all subway stations and bus routes adopt the technology in late 2020. Passengers can enter stations equipped with OMNY technology by scanning their smartphones’ mobile wallet, or a contactless bank card in the form of prepaid, debit or credit cards.
An option to pay by cash will be available with the OMNY card, to be sold by some retailers by 2021. OMNY cards will be available for purchase from MTA vending machines by 2023.
The transition of subway turnstiles and bus entrances toward OMNY has already begun, starting with 16 stations that serve the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan and the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Meanwhile, on Staten Island, local and express buses are now equipped with the new tech.
Just like SmartLink cards on the PATH, MetroCards can be used until 2023.
The Port Authority’s plan to integrate the OMNY system stems from its goals to improve performance and increase ridership capacity on the PATH system, which, according to a monthly report, served 7.24 million passengers in May. Its signal system will see a $752.6 million upgrade completed by 2022, which is expected to decrease wait times.