New York City straphangers, rejoice!
The city’s subway and bus systems are adding new contactless payment readers to select stations, enabling passengers to pay for rides using their smartphones.
Beginning May 31, you’ll be able to purchase a single-use digital MetroCard using Google Pay. The local transportation authority will be rolling out the feature to all Staten Island buses and all subway stations on the 4, 5, and 6 lines between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center.
In short: You’ll be able to easily buy a ticket and travel between much of Manhattan and Brooklyn without having to buy a physical MetroCard. It’s expected to be a huge deal for visitors and tourists who often struggle to navigate the aging kiosks that sell physical MetroCards.
The effort is part of New York City’s OMNY contactless payment system that will let riders tap their smartphones, wearable devices, or contactless credit or debit card to pay for fares.
In addition to the new payment systems, starting today Google Assistant will be able to give live updates on subway times for all 26 lines and 400 stations. This means you can just ask your smart speaker or Android device, “Hey Google, when’s the next 1 train coming?” or “Hey Google, when’s the next train?” and you’ll get an accurate answer.
To make things even easier, Google Maps will soon begin to incorporate more info about the subway system and show you which stations use Google Pay or other contactless payment systems. It’s a huge boon for all riders — now if we could just get the governor to fix the entire subway system.