The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is currently upgrading its payment system to a tap and go contactless system. This allows riders to pay their fare by simply tapping their card or mobile phone on a designated reader. It will also work with smart watches. Learn more about how the technology works here.
This is a great step towards improving accessibility. The MetroCard that is used now has to be swiped and inserted in a certain direction. I have low vision and on days where I was rushing to catch a train I could easily get confused on which way to insert the card.
This upgrade will speed up the process for everyone. Those with mobility issues would just have to swipe their smart watch.
Swiping a card does add extra time and now being able to simply tap and go will cut down the time it takes to enter the turnstyle or paying the fare in a bus.
Here is a demonstration of how the MTA OMNY system works.
The MetroCard will only be accepted until 2023. Then it will go the way of the token.
I have not been able to try this but I would definitely like to try it when I get an opportunity.