New Fare Payment System Will Accept Contactless Debit/Credit Cards, Digital Wallets and OMNY Cards
AirTrain Remains Free for Travel Between Terminals
Governor Kathy Hochul, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced that AirTrain JFK will begin accepting fare payments using the MTA’s OMNY “Tap and Go” contactless payment readers starting Tuesday, October 10th. OMNY will be available at select gates in both the Jamaica and Howard Beach stations, where an $8.25 one-way fare is required to enter or exit the system, and the AirTrain remains free for travel between airport terminals.
“We are making it easier than ever for travelers to take the train to JFK, and for visitors to our great city to use one of its most essential services – the MTA,” Governor Hochul said. “As we continue to rollout OMNY throughout the system, I encourage everyone to take advantage of this service and travel safely.”
The new fare payment system will accept contactless debit/credit cards, digital wallets and OMNY cards. Fare gates that accept MetroCards will remain available and an option for customers. The initial installation of OMNY at the Jamaica and Howard Beach stations represents the first phase of the integration process. The number of OMNY-equipped gates will steadily increase over the next 15 months. By the end of 2024, the OMNY “Tap and Go” contactless readers will be fully integrated into all fare gates.
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Executive Director Rick Cotton said, "We're dedicated to enhancing every customer journey through our facilities and this integration of easy-to-use contactless payments at AirTrain JFK supports this commitment. Contactless payment systems like OMNY provide a tap-and-pay method that is convenient and quick for both our region’s residents and for travelers from other parts of the U.S. and from other countries.”
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Chairman Kevin O'Toole said, "At the airports, our job is to provide a consistent, world-class customer experience for travelers from around the world. Contactless readers offers travelers an intuitive, hassle-free fare payment option and will greatly improve the customer experience at AirTrain JFK."
MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, “In September subway and bus customers tapped more than 2 million times on a single day, and now they’ll be able to use OMNY at the AirTrain JFK for much quicker passenger flow to and from the airport. Whether you’re headed to catch a plane or returning home to New York, AirTrain riders can now take full advantage of this time-saving and seamless way to travel in the city.”
MTA Construction and Development President Jamie Torres-Springer said, “This is a major step toward the full implementation of OMNY throughout the New York region. Now whether you live in New York or you’re just visiting, you can experience the convenience and reliability of tap-and-go.”
Representative Gregory W. Meeks said, “This latest announcement means even more convenience for riders who want to take advantage of our community’s transit options. Tap-and-go models have been shown to not only be faster, but also a more secure means of riding. I look forward to additional people experiencing the benefits of the JFK AirTrain.”
New York City Councilmember Nantasha Williams said, "I am thrilled to see OMNY's integration with the Air Train at JFK, a significant step towards enhancing transportation convenience for New Yorkers. This technological advancement not only streamlines travel but also underscores our commitment to making transportation more accessible and efficient for our constituents. This innovation will only further Downtown Jamaica's reputation as one of the most accessible transit hubs of the outer boroughs."
Cash customers or those who do not have a contactless payment method may purchase all currently available MetroCard products at MetroCard vending machines, Hudson News or Metro News, then use MetroCard fare gates. Existing 30-day unlimited cards and discounted 10-trip cards for groups or frequent riders of AirTrain JFK are available through the AirTrain MetroCard that can be purchased at the stations’ MetroCard vending machines or at the news retailers on site.
Reduced-Fare customers who cannot use their Reduced-Fare MetroCard to swipe at AirTrain JFK gates can tap with the contactless payment device linked to their Reduced-Fare bank card or OMNY card at the AirTrain JFK’s OMNY readers and pay the full AirTrain fare.
AirTrain JFK stations are operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week with customer service agents available on site for assistance. OMNY market share of paid subway rides continue to be at or above 45 percent.
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. OMNY has processed bank cards from each of the 195 countries that issues them.