Big changes are on the way for the New York City subway system, which serves around 6.1 million people per day. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has approved a plan to switch from the current MetroCard system to a new NFC contactless system that will support both Apple Pay and Android Pay.
The new $573 million plan will see 500 subway turnstiles getting contactless readers for NFC payments in late 2018, while the rest of the subway stations and buses in the city will support the new payment system by 2020. Current MetroCards will still be available to be used until 2023, giving them a thirty-year run before being phased out by contactless payment systems.
The new NFC system should support Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, and any other technology that uses NFC for payments. For those who don’t want the magic of waving your smartphone over the turnstile, there will be MetroCard replacements with an NFC chip embedded inside so it works just like current MetroCards and will allow people who don’t use smartphones to use the new system.
NYC officials hope this new method of paying will help speed up some of the delays in getting onto public transport, which has long been a problem for the city.