New York City, NY

Opinion: OMNY Does Not Save Us Money, MTA

Remington Write

Schooling the Metropolitan Transit Authority on basic math
72nd Street Subway Station between Broadway and Amsterdam /Photo byTammy Remington

The exciting announcements about how the new OMNY contactless payment system on subways and buses in New York City saves us money began last winter and there has been no let-up since. It may sound like good news, but We The Riders of the buses and subways of New York City are not dummies.

We can do basic math.

Listen up, you geniuses at New York’s Metropolitan Transit “Authority” (authority makes you sound like you know what you’re doing but seeing how you run the transit system, let's just say that's questionable), we know that your little project came in at least fifteen months behind schedule and almost two hundred million dollars over-budget. Fun fact: London managed to move their system to a contactless payment option for roughly 68 million pounds (that's just under 84 million US dollars). OMNY soaked the state for over $772 million (which is the jolly old sum of 629,931,540 pounds in London). Clearly, keeping it classy, MTA.

So we've already established that the bean counters at the MTA are quite comfortable spending other people's money and are thus challenged to understand the difference between the $529,000,000 budgeted and the $772,000,000 spent. With this in mind, it's not so surprising that they seem to think we won't notice that the fare-capping system being announced constantly is actually a sneaky fare increase.

It doesn't help at all that the robot reading your script sounds like it’s going to pee its pants from excitement over the fact that after the first twelve paid rides each week the rest of our rides for that whole week are FREE!

Twelve full fares at $2.75 a pop = $33. Four times $33 = $132. Meanwhile, my precious 30-day unlimited card currently soaks me for $127. And don’t get me wrong here. $127 to have full access to a transit system that gets me from Point A to Point B 99% of the time is a bargain. But your breathlessly wonderful fare-capping system will not save riders money, you boneheads. Especially since you are gearing up for another fare increase.

We The Riders don't need or appreciate the constant barrage of these inane announcements. We know when we're being played. Between the actions of one gang of bureaucrats or another, we've gotten very used to being played.

Not only are we — the riders who are daily forced to be dodging crazies and maskless wonders — bombarded with these insanely annoying announcements on the buses and subways, you’ve plastered every possible surface with brightly colored ads as well. And it all shouts the glad tidings. And all those glad tidings are nothing but lies.

I realize it’s hard to imagine that an upright organization like the MTA could ever lie to the very riders it supposedly serves. Wait. It's not hard at all.

My plan is to be the last rider in this city to surrender my Metrocard.

Well, here's mud in your eye, MTA. Myself and roughly 120,000 other old Boomers are ready to take possession of our long-anticipated reduced fare Metrocard-for-the-elderly-and-disabled. So, bring on your threatened 29% fare increase along with service cuts.

What a great way to increase ridership!

Yes, we'll adapt to the new contactless rip-off. We've adjusted to every other injustice and pile of crap the machine has thrown at us all our lives. We'll roll with this one as well, but it will be sweetened by finally only having to pay half fare to do so.

Just keep in mind, we know a fare increase when we see it no matter how brightly it's advertised.

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Covert dilettante with an omnivorous capacity for wonder. Writing because I can't not write. Always watching for the hidden patterns and connections. I don't know I cannot fly..........and so I do.

New York City, NY

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