On TAPP: PATH contactless payment system now at all its train stops

TAPP reader on PATH station turnstile
A TAPP reader at the Oculus.
Photo by Ben Brachfeld

TAPP, the Port Authority’s new contactless fare payment system, is now fully installed at all PATH train stops, the agency announced on Wednesday.

“We’re pleased to announce that, in time for this holiday weekend, the touch-and-go PATH TAPP system will be available at all PATH stations, both in New York and in New Jersey,” said Rick Cotton, the Port Authority’s executive director. “Available at every station across the system, and we are confident that that will speed the weekend’s traffic.”

TAPP, which stands for “Total Access PATH Payment,” can now be used to pay the fare at all 13 of the bi-state transit system’s stops, on about a third of the total turnstiles in the system. The last two stations to be deployed with TAPP were Christopher Street and 9th Street, which got the treatment this week.

Like the MTA’s OMNY payment system, riders can pay the fare by tapping a debit card or their phone’s digital wallet; payment via Smart Link cards or MetroCards is also still an option, and the agency will ultimately launch a dedicated TAPP Card; those with discounted Smart Link cards will be able to use their benefits via TAPP when the card is launched.

The Port Authority began rolling out TAPP at its stations back in December, and on Wednesday said 70,000 riders use contactless payment on an average weekday.

The system was developed by Cubic, the same contractor that developed OMNY; the MTA’s system stands for “One Metro New York” and was originally intended to unite the New York area’s various transit modes under one payment system.

The Port Authority opted to spend $100 million developing its own system instead of using OMNY, owing to timing uncertainties on OMNY expansion. On Monday, the MTA in some sense vindicated that approach, announcing the overall OMNY project was not due for completion until at least 2026 as the agency attempts to spur New Yorkers to switch to contactless payment.