After Apple and Google announcing about their payment systems being available for the MTA’s pilot program; Fitbit has also announced about their payment system, Fitbit Pay, being a part of this pilot system.
What is this MTA Pilot Program?
The program, called One Metro New York (OMNY), will be available first to buses servicing Staten Island and the 4 / 5 / 6 subway lines between Grand Central in Manhattan and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The MTA says it plans to extend support to cover the entire system by 2021. Those without a contactless payment wearable can also use apps on their smartphones to enter.
The system uses the smartwatch/trackers’ NFC chip for payment. For starters, things will be limited to single-ride passes, which is probably a deal breaker for many locals who rely on day/week/month passes to save a little on the MTA’s constantly increasing prices. The MTA plans to add additional ride options and branch out to all buses and subway stops by 2021.
For now, however, it’s likely concerned with how the new system will impact foot traffic. Seems likely there will be a bit of a logjam as riders figure out the ins and outs; ultimately, however, it may well save passengers time from not having to fumble for their MetroCard.
Fitbit and MTA’s Pilot Program –
Fitbit’s contactless payment system, Fitbit Pay, is starting to expand transit payment support in the US. Starting on May 31st, Fitbit users with a Fitbit Pay-capable device can use it to pay for their rides on select buses and trains on the New York City MTA system.
More Insight –
Starting Friday, straphangers sporting a Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition, Versa Special Edition or Fitbit Ionic will be able to use their device to tap and pay for a ride at select subway stations and buses. The pilot is rolling out on the 31st for 4, 5, 6 stops between Manhattan’s Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn; along with all Staten Island buses.
New York is Fitbit’s second US city to receive transit payment support; Fitbit Pay was previously available on Chicago’s CTA system and is currently offered in Vancouver, Sydney, London, Singapore, and Taiwan. The payment system launched two years ago and is now live in 42 countries.
Fitbit Pay now also works with transit systems in Chicago, Singapore, Sydney, Taiwan, Vancouver and London.