New York subway and buses to go contactless in 2018

New York subway and buses to go contactless in 2018

From 2018 travellers will finally be able to pay for New York subway and bus journeys with a tap of their contactless bank card or mobile phone.

The MTA first began testing contactless payments for subway users back in 2006, teaming with MasterCard and Citi on a pilot. Ten years on, Governor Cuomo is promising to "accelerate" the technology's roll out as part of a wide ranging overhaul of the Big Apple's Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) designed to finally bring it into the 21st century, catching up with other major cities such as London.

Subways and buses will start using contactless payment methods in 2018, meaning commuters can board buses and pass through turnstiles more quickly, as well as manage the value in their accounts online instead of on physical cards that can be lost or damaged.

In addition, mobile ticketing on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will be fully introduced by the end of the year, giving railroad customers the ability to buy tickets on their mobile devices. Railroad customers who also ride subways and buses will be able to pay their fares using a single app and a single transit account from next year.

Cuomo, who is also promising to roll out Wi-Fi across the subway system and add USB charging stations to carriages, says: "The MTA is absolutely vital to the daily functioning of New York City, but for too long it has failed to meet the region’s growing size and strength. This is about doing more than just repair and maintain - this is thinking bigger and better and building the 21st century transit system New Yorkers deserve."

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