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OMNY Implementation/Metro-Card Retirement Discussion Thread

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I remember about 10 years ago, Chase had a different sort of chip, about a quarter inch square that would protrude slightly through the plastic, and they called it "Blink". It wasn't too secure either if someone got close to you with a device. Then all the banks simply dropped it, never knew why. 

CTA's Chicagocard worked fine (better than Ventra initially which was associated with an unscrupulous bank in Indiana), had 3 chips inside for easy reading by a device, but whoever provided the technology went out of business. 

Most small and medium sized banks in the US are still very stubborn about going to Contactless cards, but go on bragging about chips, and urge you to use Apple and Google Pay. 

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Hi Everyone,

I can't wait until June 23,2021 because there will be an OMNY update and ;let's see what happens then.  Only 3 MORE to go!. But hey we are half way there already.

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7 minutes ago, mikecintel said:

I can't wait until June 23,2021 because there will be an OMNY update

Do you have inside information?

On a related note, the OMNY site has a link to a poll.  One of the first questions is about OMNY usage, i.e. what would it take for you to use it.  Then it goes into how often you rode pre-pandemic, how much you ride now, etc.  I encourage anyone who wants unlimited fares to take the survey.

Transit survey

They also have questions regarding subway safety, which I appreciated.

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5 hours ago, BillAv said:

Do you have inside information?

On a related note, the OMNY site has a link to a poll.  One of the first questions is about OMNY usage, i.e. what would it take for you to use it.  Then it goes into how often you rode pre-pandemic, how much you ride now, etc.  I encourage anyone who wants unlimited fares to take the survey.

Transit survey

They also have questions regarding subway safety, which I appreciated.

No I don't have inside information but it was listed in the Board and committee meeting PDF.  The link is here https://new.mta.info/document/33751

June Overall Capital Program Rolling Stock OMNY Quarterly Traffic Light Report

Then also in December the final one I think for this year:

December Overall Capital Program Integrated Megaprojects OMNY Quarterly Traffic Light Report

Thanks about the survey.

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Posted (edited)

They now have some of the metrocard fare readers equipped with OMNY.

Edited by NBTA

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8 hours ago, RestrictOnTheHanger said:

Do you mean the ones to check balances?

The ones that open the wheelchair gates, so far I've seen them at Fulton Street, Union Square and I think Bowling Green.

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4 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

The ones that open the wheelchair gates, so far I've seen them at Fulton Street, Union Square and I think Bowling Green.

This^, thought of the wrong machine.

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22 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

The ones that open the wheelchair gates, so far I've seen them at Fulton Street, Union Square and I think Bowling Green.

Add Atlantic-Pacific-Barclays Center  to that list..

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Has there ever been an issue of a Contactless Debit card not working since its bank demands a PIN for any transaction, and there is no way to do that when entering the transit system ? 

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3 hours ago, Amtrak41 said:

Has there ever been an issue of a Contactless Debit card not working since its bank demands a PIN for any transaction, and there is no way to do that when entering the transit system ? 

A contactless debit card has the NFC feature (Near Field Communication), so in that way, the understanding is that the security is already built into the card. You have to hold the card next to the reader and keep it there before the transaction goes through. In the supermarket when I use it, after the contactless reader communicates with the card, I still have to go through a number of steps before the transaction is complete. With OMNY, it's a smaller transaction. When I was erroneously charged recently, I just called my bank and they refunded me.

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The reason I ask is that I tried this new card on an NJT TVM machine, and it wanted me to key in PIN number. I suppose that is an NJT thing with their machines. Likewise, with a credit card, they want your zip code. 

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8 hours ago, Amtrak41 said:

The reason I ask is that I tried this new card on an NJT TVM machine, and it wanted me to key in PIN number. I suppose that is an NJT thing with their machines. Likewise, with a credit card, they want your zip code. 

To put it simply, OMNY/Oyster/Ventra and other similar systems use the card for authorization when you tap, and settle the actual charges later. 

From personal experience, a contactless debit card behaves the same as a credit card when using these readers.

What you see on NJT machines is a result of different retailers not doing a by-the-book EMV contactless setup on the terminal. In theory you should not have to enter a PIN under a certain threshold (currently none in the US). In practice the setups are inconsistent. I'm sure there will be some security on the new OMNY vending machines, but the actual readers at the turnstile work with no additional input

VG8, EMV is the payment/security standard whereas NFC is only the communication protocol. 

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8 hours ago, RestrictOnTheHanger said:

To put it simply, OMNY/Oyster/Ventra and other similar systems use the card for authorization when you tap, and settle the actual charges later. 

From personal experience, a contactless debit card behaves the same as a credit card when using these readers.

What you see on NJT machines is a result of different retailers not doing a by-the-book EMV contactless setup on the terminal. In theory you should not have to enter a PIN under a certain threshold (currently none in the US). In practice the setups are inconsistent. I'm sure there will be some security on the new OMNY vending machines, but the actual readers at the turnstile work with no additional input

VG8, EMV is the payment/security standard whereas NFC is only the communication protocol. 

I'm aware (I've been using contactless payment when it came out years ago - it's much more common in Europe and other places outside of the US), so I'm quite familiar with it. My point was that you cannot use any old card with OMNY. It has to be a contactless card or you connect it to your phone that has contactless capabilities. Forget about the security. These contactless cards were out here in the US I want to say around 10+ years ago, as I recall having at least one and used it often, but the security was a concern back then, so they were pulled. Some tweaks made and now they're making a comeback here again.

 

17 hours ago, Amtrak41 said:

The reason I ask is that I tried this new card on an NJT TVM machine, and it wanted me to key in PIN number. I suppose that is an NJT thing with their machines. Likewise, with a credit card, they want your zip code. 

Well the TVM machines act just like the MVM machines where you have to put in your zip code, be it a debit or credit card. At those machines though, you have the opportunity to make a larger transaction, whereas with OMNY, the max you're doing is some single rides. Technically there's a verification process involved in that you are temporarily charged a $2.75 verification fee when you first use the card with OMNY, which then falls off. I don't know about the TVM machines, but with the MVM machines, they also will block your card after a certain amount of uses to prevent fraud. For the day, I think the max is three uses. However, I have also had some cards blocked for a several days because I used to buy the Metro-North tickets (paper tickets) and the express buses passes, so I'm cognizant of security, as I have called up customer service before when I have had issues and needed to use my debit card and have them remove the block. Now with e-ticket, it isn't a problem because that's separate from the MVM machines.

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NJT has found most credit card fraud is eliminated by requiring a zip code. Something must be entered for a non-American, perhaps 00000, but I forgot what.

 

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10 hours ago, Amtrak41 said:

NJT has found most credit card fraud is eliminated by requiring a zip code. Something must be entered for a non-American, perhaps 00000, but I forgot what.

 

Well years ago someone gave me an American Express gift card. I wanted to use it towards getting a Metrocard so that I wouldn't have an odd amount on it and could not because a zip code was required. Called AMEX... Lots of back and forth. I wound up just using the card for something else. I actually just got another contactless card in the mail today. I connected it to my OMNY account and will use it soon, but since it is not verified yet in OMNY's system, it will deduct $2.75 first as a verification whenever I do use it and then it should be fine.

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Not exactly subway related, but in reference to the JFK airtrain (click the tweet to see the thread). Wont hold my breath though since they have to cooperate with the Port Authority

 

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The more interesting thing for me will be

  • when the suburban bus systems start adopting NICE
  • if some of the stragglers (NJT won't, but maybe SCT) will adopt it this time around

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, bobtehpanda said:

The more interesting thing for me will be

  • when the suburban bus systems start adopting NICE
  • if some of the stragglers (NJT won't, but maybe SCT) will adopt it this time around

...you mean OMNY? lol

 

To be honest, I wish they would expand to NICE more quickly because I keep getting screwed on the 2-transfers w/ Metrocard and OMNY is just efficient and easy to report if it mischarges me on my card. Metrocard is a real PITA to work with. It would be great if SCT would hop onboard too but if they don't have Metrocard as it is, it seems unlikely that they'll install pricey NFC readers on their buses, which when they break or malfunction, MTA or Cubic has to send one of their guys out to SCT to fix. 

Edited by danielhg121
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, danielhg121 said:

...you mean OMNY? lol

 

To be honest, I wish they would expand to NICE more quickly because I keep getting screwed on the 2-transfers w/ Metrocard and OMNY is just efficient and easy to report if it mischarges me on my card. Metrocard is a real PITA to work with. It would be great if SCT would hop onboard too but if they don't have Metrocard as it is, it seems unlikely that they'll install pricey NFC readers on their buses, which when they break or malfunction, MTA or Cubic has to send one of their guys out to SCT to fix. 

I blame the legal weed.

I already live in an area where even the tiny regional agencies have adopted the smartcard. We're currently trying to implement a second-generation smartcard system like OMNY, and interestingly enough, some suburban transit agencies replacing buses have opted to transition to fare-free transit for the time being, since they will have to rip out the first-generation readers they'd pay to install for the second-generation one in like a year or two, and that would cost more than the fares collected during that time.

The nice thing about smartcards, is that unlike fareboxes there aren't moving parts (so maintenance should be less frequent and easier; a smartcard reader can't eat your phone), and the readers are more standard (they're pretty much customized readers of the type you see at chain stores)

Edited by bobtehpanda

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, danielhg121 said:

...you mean OMNY? lol

 

To be honest, I wish they would expand to NICE more quickly because I keep getting screwed on the 2-transfers w/ Metrocard and OMNY is just efficient and easy to report if it mischarges me on my card. Metrocard is a real PITA to work with. It would be great if SCT would hop onboard too but if they don't have Metrocard as it is, it seems unlikely that they'll install pricey NFC readers on their buses, which when they break or malfunction, MTA or Cubic has to send one of their guys out to SCT to fix. 

Same I was just thinking about that today. Nassau should have gotten OMNY right after Queens, because a lot of the people who use the NICE routes that run into Queens transfer from the subway and other Queens routes. 
Ever since OMNY came to Queens I haven’t been filling up my metro card as much but it’s always annoying when my metrocard is empty and I have to go to Nassau because I end up having to pay twice. 
 

One thing that I hope OMNY does is allow free transfers from PATH to MTA but to be honest I don’t see that happening. 

Edited by NewFlyer 230

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On PATH's smartcard, you pay for a number of rides, whatever the current cost. How that will work with OMNY, I don't know.

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