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OMNY Implementation/Metro-Card Retirement Discussion Thread

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@Kamen_Rider and @RestrictOnTheHanger:

On 3/14/2020 at 10:45 PM, Kamen Rider said:

I don't know what you were reading because that was always the plan.

About six months ago, it wasn't on the MTA.info website and when I inquired a reply was that OMNY cards would be sold by retailers with no mention of the MTA selling them in stations. As far as I know, that changed for the better sometime in the last six months, give or take.

On 3/14/2020 at 10:45 PM, Kamen Rider said:

Stores can't charge markups for MetroCard, why would they be able to charge markups for pre-loaded OMNY?

Because stores (unless owned by the MTA or other supplier) can, by law, pretty much charge whatever they like, won't agree to a deal in which they can't reasonably expect to make a profit, and won't settle for today's 3% cut, which, on a $3.75 ($2.75 + $1) MetroCard, comes to under 11 cents. Okay for high-volume steady sales but otherwise that's not enough. There are, at last count, about 2,000 retailers. If sales would only be at independent retailers, the MTA would need enough retailers to cover every subway station and every bus stop. If you try telling customers to look for Charlie's Luncheonette across the street from the bus stop and two doors from the corner, most customers won't remember that. Most retailers won't hang big outdoor signs about having OMNY cards and the MTA will want nearly 24x7 availability. Result: The MTA would need about 200,000 retailers in the city and nearby. Good luck getting them to sign up without a profit. They don't sell sandwiches without a profit, even when they love all their customers.

The timing is not my concern. I don't like tap-and-go systens anyway, but I made a Faraday cage for a few cents to protect my investment for when I have to get OMNY.

@RestrictOnTheHanger: The 3% being less than the cost of servicing subway machines may be the case; I don't know. The machines have to have their own security whereas retailers can stash cards behind the counter and perhaps use the same card activators that work on gift cards to activate OMNY cards; I don't know. The needs are different, so the cost structure would be different.

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Posted (edited)

Just because you didn't see it @Nick mean it wasn't always the plan. Some of us have been following before it even had a name. 

Hell, before there were actual details.

Edited by LTA1992
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Nick... I’m guessing you’ve never worked retail...

stores will often have something they sell to encourage you to shop there or to spend even more money.
 

I used to work at Staples. We sold our printers at cost in the hope you’d buy ink from us in the future.

 

Metrocard Merchants sell the cards in the hopes that while you’re in there, you’ll also get a coffee and a bagel or something.

 

you’ve also forgotten that all Metrocard Merchants have a little sign in the window with a picture of a Metrocard.

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Selling the card in stores first, then installing new vending machines in stations that will also sell them has been the plan all along since before it even had a name. 

MTA Finance Committee from October 23, 2017: http://web.mta.info/mta/news/books/archive/171023_1200_Finance.pdf (pp 60-63, mainly 60)

Quote

Phase 3: Creation of robust retail sales and reload network for MTA-issued contactless transit cards and introduction of new NFPS all agency mobile payment and ticketing app  that has current Railroad app functionality (39 months)

Phase 4: Implementation of new vending machines for NYC Transit and the Railroads, and new Railroad ticket office machines (52 months) 

There was a graphic explaining this as well, but I can't find it right now...

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Alright here's a update:

OMNY installation list:

Active sections with OMNY:

South Ferry to 96 Street (1)(2)(3)

103 Street to 242 St-Van Cortlandt Park (1)

Central Park North-110 St to Harlem-148 St (2)(3)

Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center to 125 Street (4)(5)(6)

138 Street-Grand Concourse to Woodlawn (4)

3 Av-149 St to Wakefield-241 Street (2)(5)

3 Av-138 St to Pelham Bay Park (6)

34 Street-Hudson Yards (7)

Jay Street-MetroTech to 59 Street-Columbus Circle (A)(C)(E)

West 4 Street to 47-50 Streets Rockefeller Center (B)(D)(F)(M)

7 Avenue (B)(D)(E)

59 Street-Columbus Circle to 145 Street (A)(B)(C)(D)

155 Street to Inwood-207 Street (A)(C)

Hoyt-Schermerhorn to Rockaway Av (A)(C)

Cortlandt Street (R)(W)

86 Street (R)

Sutphin Blvd-Archer Avenue-JFK (E)(J)(Z)

St George Ferry, Tompkinsville SIR

Stations with the protruding base installed:

103 St-Corona Plaza, Vernon Blvd-Jackson Avenue, Hunters Point Av, Court Square (7)

Stations with OMNY readers installed on the bases:

Main Street-Flushing (7)

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4 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

Alright here's a update:

OMNY installation list:

Active sections with OMNY:

South Ferry to 96 Street (1)(2)(3)

103 Street to 242 St-Van Cortlandt Park (1)

Central Park North-110 St to Harlem-148 St (2)(3)

Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center to 125 Street (4)(5)(6)

138 Street-Grand Concourse to Woodlawn (4)

3 Av-149 St to Wakefield-241 Street (2)(5)

3 Av-138 St to Pelham Bay Park (6)

34 Street-Hudson Yards (7)

Jay Street-MetroTech to 59 Street-Columbus Circle (A)(C)(E)

West 4 Street to 47-50 Streets Rockefeller Center (B)(D)(F)(M)

7 Avenue (B)(D)(E)

59 Street-Columbus Circle to 145 Street (A)(B)(C)(D)

155 Street to Inwood-207 Street (A)(C)

Hoyt-Schermerhorn to Rockaway Av (A)(C)

Cortlandt Street (R)(W)

86 Street (R)

Sutphin Blvd-Archer Avenue-JFK (E)(J)(Z)

St George Ferry, Tompkinsville SIR

Stations with the protruding base installed:

103 St-Corona Plaza, Vernon Blvd-Jackson Avenue, Hunters Point Av, Court Square (7)

Stations with OMNY readers installed on the bases:

Main Street-Flushing (7)

103 St-corona plaza now has the reader installed. Junction BLVD has the based installed not sure if it has the reader installed.

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I think I like this format better for the active stations.

 

(1) All Stations

(2) 241st Street to Atlantic Ave 

(3) 148th Street to Atlantic Ave 

(4) Woodlawn to Atlantic Ave

(5) Dyre Ave to Atlantic Ave 

(6) All Stations

(7) 34th Street-Hudson Yards to Grand Central 

(S) 42 St All Stations.

(A) 207th Street to Utica Ave (Rockway Ave late nights)

(C) 168th Street to Rockaway Ave

(E) Sutphin Blvd-JFK, Lexington Ave/53rd Street, 50th Street to World Trade Center 

(B) 161st Street-Yankee Stadium, 145th Street to Broadway-Lafayette Street, Atlantic Ave

(D) 161st Street-Yankee Stadium, 145th Street to Broadway-Lafayette Street, Atlantic Ave

(F) 47-50th streets to Broadway-Lafayette Street, Jay Street-Metro Tech

(M) Lexington Ave/53rd Street, 47-50th streets to Broadway-Lafayette Street

(G) Hoyt-Schermerhorn Streets, 

(L) 8th Ave to Union Square 

(N) Lexington Ave/59th street, Times Square-42nd Street to Atlantic Ave 

(Q) Times Square-42nd Street to Canal street, Atlantic Ave 

(R)Lexington Ave/59th street, Times Square-42nd Street, 34th Street-Herald Square, 14th St-Union Square, Canal St, Cortlandt St, Whitehall St-South Ferry to Jay St-Metro Tech, Atlantic ave, 86th Street, 

(W)Lexington Ave/59th street,Times Square-42nd Street, 34th Street-Herald Square, 14th St-Union Square, Canal St, Cortlandt St, Whitehall St-South Ferry

(J) Fulton St to Canal St, Sutphin Blvd-JFK

(Z) Fulton St to Canal St, Sutphin Blvd-JFK

(S) Franklin.... Franklin Avenue  

(S) Rockaway none 

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On 3/17/2020 at 10:09 AM, LTA1992 said:

Just because you didn't see it . . . [doesn't] mean it wasn't always the plan. . . .

Fine, I'm glad it was in the plan and you knew about it early, but, precisely because it wasn't stated where most of the public would be likely to find it, a complaint to the management about this necessity not being in the plan was highly appropriate, and, having written and then gotten an update, I thought to share it here. It should have already been posted at OMNY.info about six months ago when I looked, but that was their oversight, albeit now remedied, not my oversight for asking and then telling readers here.

On 3/17/2020 at 12:34 PM, Around the Horn said:

(pp 60-63, mainly 60)

That reinforces my point. You found part, but that was on pp. 60-63, and you didn't find the other part. The MTA.info and OMNY.info websites I would guess have thousands of pages of content. Most people are not likely to hunt for pp. 60-63 or even just p. 60 in anything if we're told the info is on a website and we look for where it should be on that website and it's not there. When you want to promote information to the general public (such as me) because you want most people to know, it's up to you to expose it for most people. The MTA didn't, back then. Maybe my complaining about the product got someone to put it more visibly on the website.

On 3/17/2020 at 10:42 AM, Kamen Rider said:

stores will often have something they sell to encourage you to shop there or to spend even more money. . . . I used to work at Staples. We sold our printers at cost in the hope you’d buy ink from us in the future.

They don't have to sell that way and many won't do that, or won't do it for long. Loss leaders are turned into profitable products or are dropped if the purpose of loss-leading isn't working. Supermarkets often don't repeat deals that don't work. When barcoding began, data revealed failures. I shop in a chain supermarket that doesn't take coupons because coupons don't work for them. Entry-level printers were long sold by many retailers with manufacturers' support at nearly break-even for the reason you cited (also for paper sales), but that's because the deal worked for them, not because they had to or Canon made them do it or because we liked them doing so. (Co-op advertising can look like a price mandate but taking the co-op deal is voluntary.) There's no reason to think that OMNY cards would fare better than, say, daily newspapers in getting people to buy something else also; some do buy something else but newspapers are still sold at a profit for the dealers, even when the publishers lose money. I don't think you'll get 200,000 retailers to waive profitability and still stock the inventory and still train employees in how to reload fares.

On 3/17/2020 at 10:42 AM, Kamen Rider said:

you’ve also forgotten that all Metrocard Merchants have a little sign in the window with a picture of a Metrocard.

I did forget about the MetroCard store signs, but that supports my point. Sales volume per store will usually be low and unlikely to rise, so, in most stores, promotion in windows, on awnings, etc. is unlikely. Without OMNY, there's lots of little signs in store windows. We don't read most of them. You'll probably know which retailers near your home or workplace carry OMNY even without signs, but if you go somewhere unfamiliar finding one could be a challenge, especially at night in neighborhoods where virtually all stores are closed when you need one. Subway booths might know one but bus drivers won't. And store owners won't keep late hours just to sell or refill 0-2 cards per week during the late hours, if it wasn't already worth staying late, especially mom-and-pop stores that are run by mom alone or pop alone.

Thanks. I hope everyone's healthy.

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ADD: Broadway Junction, Liberty Avenue, Van Siclen Avenue, Shepard Ave and Euclid Avenue.

 

the C now joins the list of completely activated lines and the J/Z and L get their first stations in Brooklyn.

 

and.... this just in.... ADD... Mets-Willets Point! Finally another station in Queens... completely useless at the moment... but at least we who live in the World’s Borough have another...

 

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Posted (edited)

Looks like this is a demo of our new turnstiles, starting with the wide ADA accessible ones for wheelchairs, strollers and luggage.

Looks almost identical to the turnstiles in London except for the screen which has been changed from a dot matrix to LCD. 

89957143_1606344762852212_81565775973339

Edited by Around the Horn
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they mentioned it on Twitter as a prototype. The finished model will take OMNY and MetroCard.

 

I’m guessing this is at the “Alpha” build stage.

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8 minutes ago, RestrictOnTheHanger said:

Looks like that will do zero to stop jumpers

It's still better than those damn HEETs...

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Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2020 at 7:38 PM, RestrictOnTheHanger said:

Looks like that will do zero to stop jumpers

Paris taught me people will always find a way.

Through all types of faregate designs. 

Edited by LTA1992
  • LMAO! 1

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9 hours ago, Kamen Rider said:

OMNY expansion halted due to virus. Then again, they did complete the March list anyway.

Source?

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Posted (edited)

Directly from 

https://omny.info/system-rollout

OMNY installations temporarily suspended

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are hitting pause on all OMNY installations for now. Resources are being prioritized to focus on running essential service across subway, bus, and commuter rail, and to ensure the safety and health of our installation teams.

Edited by RestrictOnTheHanger
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Wonder if development of the mobile app for Android + iOS was accelerated in anyway. Anyone know someone good to ask? :)

Will definitely/obviously aid with not touching metro-card/vending-machines, etc in the near future.

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Since when has Jackson Heights Roosevelt Ave had OMNY? Smart move to install it there IMO with the hospital nearby. 

On a side note the rollout suspension note appears to have been removed from the OMNY site. With service and construction slowly coming back, I wonder if/when/how installation will resume. 

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