Cheaper to use MetroCards compared to OMNY by $170: analysis

What a steal!

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is charging OMNY users nearly $200 more for a year’s worth of rides than straphangers who continue to use its old fashion MetroCard system — enough to pay for a year of Netflix without ads.

That’s because the agency still has yet to deliver a monthly pass or fare cap for the new OMNY fare system, meaning subway and bus riders still don’t qualify for the MTA’s best per-ride price, The Post’s analysis shows.

“We know that the MTA has signaled its intention to have a monthly fare capping product,” said Andrew Albert, who sits on the MTA board. “But we need to get this out there sooner rather than later to get more people to switch over.”

Currently, the only discount the MTA provides via OMNY gives riders free unlimited rides after tapping into the subway or onto a bus 12 times in a week, starting on Monday and ending Sunday.

New machines which allow you to load money on OMNY cards will be roiled out soon.
Steven Hirsch

That totals out to $34 per week, or $1768 a year, under the MTA’s proposed fare hikes this week.

The MTA’s proposal would increase the cost of a monthly MetroCard to $132 — which tallies out to $1596 for twelve to cover the year.

That means riders using the fare system the MTA wants to retire would save $172 by sticking with their monthly MetroCard.

A subscription to Netflix’s ad-free standard tier costs $15.49 a month before taxes — which totals up to $186 annually.

Indeed, The Post’s analysis shows that the MTA’s current fare structure for OMNY means that straphangers would only get 47 weeks worth of rides for the annual cost of monthly MetroCards.

A view of the subway system's with turnstiles equipped with OMNY tap receivers in 2019.
A view of the subway system’s with turnstiles equipped with OMNY tap receivers in 2019.
Christopher Sadowski

A New Yorker would have to skip the subway for five weeks to make up the difference between the monthly MetroCard and OMNY.

MTA officials have said for years they intend to provide a series of passes or fare caps for OMNY that would mirror the prices offered to straphangers via MetroCard. However, the agency has only rolled out the weekly 12-ride cap so far.

OMNY has been bedeviled by years of delays due to glitches and bugs in the underlying computer system that powers the system. Its price tag has jumped from $645 million to $772 million.

“The MTA should be doing everything possible to encourage people to switch to OMNY, including offering the full array of discounts,” said Danny Pearlstein, the top spokesman for the Riders Alliance.

“One reason riders still can’t board and pay at the back door of a bus — even though the readers are there — is that the MTA says too few riders are using OMNY,” Pearlstein added. “Yet, the reason so many riders are sticking with MetroCard is because the MTA isn’t providing all the discounts.”

An OMNY reader is pictured inside of a New York City bus in 2020
An OMNY reader is pictured inside of a New York City bus in 2020
Getty Images

Pearlstein’s group and other major transit advocacy groups have been pushing hard for all-door boarding as one way the MTA could speed up service. Experts estimate it could shave trip times by as much as 10 percent by speeding the process of getting on and off the bus.

A spokesman for the MTA, Eugene Resnick, refused to comment on The Post’s findings.

He would only say that “[c]ustomers who want a 30-day option can still purchase that product on Metro[C]ard.”