MTA to Offer Free Rides for ‘Tap-and-Go’ Customers in NYC
New York City subway and bus riders who use the MTA’s OMNY “tap-and-go” payment system for more than 12 single-fare trips within a week, will soon be automatically upgraded to an unlimited weekly pass.
The new pilot program will launch on February 28. MTA officials intend to put a weekly fare cap on trips made with OMNY, the “tap-and-go” fare system that was introduced two years ago and is now available at most stations. Riders who use OMNY now pay the regular $2.75 fare for every trip, but under the proposed change, users would get unlimited rides once they hit a $33 threshold during a seven-day period. That’s equal to 12 single-fare trips and equivalent to the cost of a weekly unlimited MetroCard.
For the purpose if this new MTA offering, the week starts at midnight Monday and runs through 11:59 p.m. Sunday. Here are some of the details of the new program, as shared by the MTA:
- The pilot program will initially be available for full-fare trips on New York City subways and local buses.
- The program would apply only to trips taken using OMNY, our contactless fare payment system. You must use the same contactless bank card or smart device or OMNY card for each trip.
- Customers will automatically receive free, unlimited rides for the rest of the week once they have paid $33 in fares — the same as taking 12 trips during a seven-day period.
- Customers can track their progress toward reaching unlimited rides on the OMNY website. You’ll see a more detailed trip history and information if you register for an OMNY account.
But if you take less than 19 single-fare trips during a week you can still get a discount. I’ve previously covered a Cash app discount for MTA rides. Using the Cash Card, you can get $1 off every ride, every three hours. So if you take 18 rides in a week, it will cost you only $31.50.
But I don’t think you have to pick one or the other. You can stack both of these offers to get some super cheap rides on MTA subways and buses. You can “tap-and-go” with the Cash Card and once you hit 12 rides within a week, the rest of your rides will be free. That means that you will have unlimited rides for just $21.
Keep in mind that the MTA pilot program is not live yet. So for now you can just get $1 off every ride, or load $1.05 to your MetroCard every three hours and pay just $0.05 with the Cash app. If you don’t have the Cash app yet, you can read more about this MTA discount here, and sign up to also get a $5 bonus. Hopefully this MTA offer is still around in March.