Friday’s Headlines: OMNY is Here Edition

What do you want from it? Photo: David Meyer
What do you want from it? Photo: David Meyer

The MTA’s new fare card — the no-card, virtual wallet system called OMNY — will launch in 16 stations today, and naturally Gothamist is reporting that your data will be up for grabs (news flash: it already is!). We’ll be at the official photo-op at Bowling Green to ask Andy Byford if every time we swipe into the subway system at the Bowery station we’ll get targeted Google ads for cleaning products (at least that would make sense!). Frankly, the bigger concern, as Guse at the Newsuh pointed out, is that OMNY isn’t taking monthly passes right now.

In any event, here’s the news:

  • Like Streetsblog, other media pointed out the questionable viability of the mayor’s BQX streetcar. (the NYDN played it straight, while the NY Post pointed out that the trolley needs free transfers to the MTA-run subway, which is not guaranteed. Gothamist offered a rare chronological TLDR. And amNY focused on the points made by critics.) Hat tip to Dan Rivoli’s literature-evoking tabloid lede on the NY1 print version.
  • The DOT is ready to extend bike lanes on Columbus and Amsterdam avenues further south — and has devised a new plan for cycling through Columbus Circle. (Patch)
  • We’ll never understand why some people in the media reflexively defend the rights of drivers to low- or no-cost parking of their private vehicles in public space. Today’s edition: The City (of all places). Come on, guys. Next time, don’t bury the most important point in the last paragraph.
  • The subway brake puller was indicted on many charges — like, this wasn’t a one-time thing. (NY Post)
  • Must read: NY Magazine’s Josh Barro did a deep dive on why subway improvements cost so damn much.
  • And in case you missed it, Streetsblog reported on a hole in the Times’s long expose on the taxi industry that put Uber and Lyft on the hook a bit more.

One last thing: Mayor de Blasio will head to South Carolina tonight. Wonder why.