Tramway First Non-MTA Operating Entity to Join Tap and Go Fare Payment System
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that the Authority’s tap and go fare payment system, OMNY, has now launched on the Roosevelt Island Tramway with stations located at 59 St and 2 Av in Manhattan and Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island. The Roosevelt Island Tramway represents the first non-MTA operated entity to begin accepting taps as a fare payment.
The OMNY readers, which were activated for customer use today, will allow Roosevelt Island Tramway riders to tap and go with their smart device with a digital wallet, such as phone or watch, or contactless credit or debit card, or OMNY card, and participate in the MTA's “best fare,” seven-day fare capping program. Customers’ first tap into the system, whether it be on the subway, bus or tram, will start a seven-day period using the same payment method on any tap and go capable transit mode. Customers are charged $2.90 for their first 11 rides, $2.10 for their 12th ride and on the 13th ride, and for each subsequent ride, the ride is free for the rest of the seven-day period. Customers will never pay more than $34 to ride in a seven-day period.
“Tap-and-go is being adopted at warp speed by subway and bus riders, and we need to give that option to everyone who uses any type of transit – both New Yorkers and tourists alike,” said MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “It’s good news that Roosevelt Island tramway customers are now able to take advantage of the fastest, most secure way to pay their fares.”
“This is another important step toward the full implementation of OMNY as the preferred fare payment method for the New York region,” said MTA President of Construction and Development Jamie Torres-Springer. “Now tram customers living on and visiting Roosevelt Island will be able to experience the ease, convenience, and reliability of OMNY.”
“Countless subway and bus customers have experienced the convenience of tap-and-go and I’m excited that Roosevelt Island Tram riders who live on the island and those visiting will now be able to use OMNY for better transfers onto the subway and buses to get to their destination faster,” said New York City Transit President Richard Davey. “Tram customers can now trust they will never miss their tram because, like subway and bus customers, they can simply tap to ride.”
“Bringing OMNY to the Roosevelt Island Tram has been an important initiative that we’ve worked on for some time,” said Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President & CEO Shelton J. Haynes. “More and more island travelers are turning to OMNY for their everyday transit use, and as the world becomes increasingly digital, it’s important for our infrastructure to keep pace with those changing trends. I want to thank MTA Chair Lieber and his team for their close collaboration throughout this process, and our elected officials who advocated so passionately for bringing OMNY here to Roosevelt Island. Finally, I want to offer a huge thank you to the RIOC Legal Team, led by Gretchen Robinson, for their tireless work in bringing this initiative to fruition.”
"Almost two decades ago, Roosevelt Island tram riders swapped out their tram tokens for MetroCards. Now, swiping a MetroCard to board the tram will soon be a distant memory as riders embrace the simplicity and flexibility of tapping with OMNY," said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. "It's never been easier to hop on the tram and take in the gorgeous views."
The Roosevelt Island Tramway operates every 7-15 minutes with direct trips to and from 59th St in Manhattan and Roosevelt Island.
- Sunday through Thursday: 6:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.
- Friday and Saturday: 6:00 a.m. – 3:30 a.m.
Customers are encouraged to utilize the Roosevelt Island Tramway for additional service options while critical track work impacts train service to Roosevelt Island. For the duration of this track work, trains will not stop at Roosevelt Island.
Customers have tapped into the transit system over a billion times, with the billionth tap occurring on July 26. In the latest Spring 2023 Customers Count Survey OMNY posted 79% fare payment satisfaction rate. Customers have tapped into all 472 subway stations and boarded 204 local bus routes and 31 express buses. Of the 195 countries that issue bank cards, OMNY has processed a card from every single one of them.
OMNY also supports Reduced-Fare customers who are ready to use their smart device, or contactless bank card to tap and go. Reduced-Fare customers are encouraged to seamlessly make the switch from MetroCards online with the OMNY digital assistant, which is available 24/7 at OMNY.info. Watch this how-to video for more information.
“The introduction of OMNY to the Roosevelt Island Tram is ensuring Roosevelt Islanders have access to the latest technology available in nearly all of MTA’s subway stations as the MetroCard is phased out,” said Representative Jerry Nadler. “The Tram is a lifeline for Roosevelt Islanders, and I’m proud to support today’s announcement which will allow residents and visitors alike easier access to the Island and all it has to offer.”
"I am happy to see that the MTA took the community's concerns seriously and has successfully implemented OMNY for the Roosevelt Island Tram,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “This will make commuting to and from the island easier and more efficient for the many residents, workers and students alike, who go to Manhattan for work, school, appointments and recreation."
“This is a great day for Roosevelt Island residents and taxpayers as they have been patiently waiting for over a year now to use OMNY for the Roosevelt Island Tram,” said Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright. “Residents and commuters of the island will benefit from contactless fare payment and reduced fare OMNY like the rest of New York City. We thank the MTA for ensuring that equity is finally in place for all those who rely on this essential mode of transportation."
"One of my initial Roosevelt Island priorities was advocating to the MTA and RIOC to expedite the installation of OMNY which would signify a much-anticipated step towards modernizing the iconic Roosevelt Island Tramway,” said Council Member Julie Menin. “The tram remains an outstanding component of New York City's transportation landscape, bearing immense significance for Roosevelt Island commuters and providing recreational travel for countless New Yorkers and worldwide tourists. Thank you to the MTA and RIOC for listening to our concerns and realizing this milestone as Roosevelt Islanders can now revel in a seamless commuting journey that utilizes OMNY technology.”
“It’s great that we have OMNY now at the Roosevelt Island Tram,” said Manhattan Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee Chair Paul Krikler.
“Cornell Tech applauds the MTA for bringing OMNY to the Roosevelt Island Tram,” said Cornell Tech’s Jack and Rilla Neafsey Dean and Vice Provost Greg Morrisett. “Trips to and from Roosevelt Island using this iconic mode of transportation will now be much easier for all. As a graduate school focused on technological innovation addressing societal and commercial needs, particularly those benefiting New York City, Cornell Tech is grateful for the MTA’s continued improvements to our transit system.”