OMNY Turnstile Reader
OMNY Turnstile Reader

$100 Million Investment Will Enable Customers to Use Contactless Mobile Devices or Debit/Credit Cards at Turnstiles

Envious that New Yorkers can zip through a subway turnstile with the simple tap of a cell phone? Not to worry. It’s coming to the PATH system, although not as quickly as some might like.

In mid-2023, the PATH system is expected to begin rolling out a $99.4 million system similar to the MTA’s, allowing riders to use their mobile devices or any contactless credit/debit card at PATH turnstiles without relying on PATH-issued fare cards or pay-per-ride MetroCards.

The current fare payment system, installed in 2007, is antiquated and forces PATH riders to use a physical fare card such as a SmartLink card or pay-per-ride MetroCard with no option to use their mobile device or credit/debit card.

The new fare payment system will also create a PATH fare card, similar to the current SmartLink card, which will sunset in 2024, for passengers who wish to use that method of payment.

The Port Authority Board of Commissioners will be asked to give final approval at its meeting this Thursday to enter into a contract with Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc.

“PATH is continually searching for innovative ways to enhance the travel experience for all of our riders,” said PATH General Manager/Director Clarelle DeGraffe. “With this new system, we’ll be adopting the most current and effective technology to advance that goal and make for a more seamless experience at the turnstile.”

Installation of the new system is not expected to cause any disruption to service. The new equipment will be phased in while the current system remains operational.

PATH reported three million riders in September 2021, which was down 56 percent from September 2019. Ridership increased 12 percent from August 2021.  Pre-pandemic, the 2019 average daily weekday ridership on PATH reached a record 284,380.

Photo by Sam Morrill

Aaron is a writer, musician and lawyer. Aaron attended Berklee College of Music and the State University of New York at Purchase. Aaron served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador. He received a J.D....