By Tanner Saunders
May 29, 2019
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Contactless Card Reader
Credit: photo_chaz/Getty

There are people in the world who care about health and fitness. Then there are people who care about it so much they wear a Fitbit device to track their activity and manage their health goals. And for those people in NYC, traveling around the city is easier than ever, because you can soon pay for public transportation using certain Fitbit models.

Beginning May 31, people with Fitbit Pay-enabled watches and tracking devices will be able to tap and pay per ride on select subway trains and buses including all Staten Island buses and 4, 5, 6 trains between Grand Central and Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center.

The partnership is part of New York City’s new contactless fare payment pilot program known as OMNY, or One Metro New York. With OMNY, New Yorkers will be able to use smart devices — including the Fitbit Charge 3 Special Edition, Fitbit Versa Special Edition and Fitbit Ionic devices — to easily board transportation without the dreaded swipe of a Metrocard.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance the transit experience and help New Yorkers and visitors alike get to their destination faster and make payment more convenient, and now they can do so with any Fitbit wearable that supports Fitbit Pay with a simple tap of the wrist,” Al Putre, OMNY executive director, said in a statement.

But New Yorkers aren’t the only ones who can leave their wallets tucked away. Fitbit Pay works on seven transportation systems around the world including Chicago, Singapore, Sydney, Vancouver, London, and Taiwan.

“As we expand the use of Fitbit Pay to work with the MTA and other major transit systems around the globe, we are enabling our on-the-go customers to safely and easily pay for transit with devices that are broadly compatible and have long battery life – all making it easier to go about their day,” Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said in a statement.

Fitbit Pay is currently available in 42 countries around the world and works with American Express, Mastercard, and Visa networks. The Fitbit Wallet can hold up to six credit cards and be used to pay wherever contactless payments are accepted.

Contactless payment on MTA is currently only available on a full-fare, pay-per-ride basis on select routes. Besides using Fitbit devices, riders will be able to ride subways and buses by tapping contactless cards, mobile phones, or other wearable devices. OMNY is planned to be in place on all MTA buses and subways by late 2020 and later throughout the entire New York region.