OMNY fare payment system installation set for 2,5, 6 IRT lines
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
The OMNY system is arriving
at numerous subway stations in
the Bronx this month.
The MTA announced that
crews will install the contactless
fare payment system throughout
February at stations on the #2,
#5 lines and the #6 line throughout
the Bronx. Once completed,
more than 180 subway stations
in the city will have the OMNY
program at turnstiles, allowing
riders to pay for their ride with
their chip-equipped credit cards
All subway stations and buses
in New York City are expected to
have the OMNY program by the
end of the year, according to the
MTA. The OMNY system will
eventually replace MetroCards,
which are expected to go the way
of the subway token in 2023.
“The OMNY rollout remains on
time and on budget and the rates
at which people are adopting it as
their preferred approach for payment
continue to exceed even our
most optimistic projections,” said
Al Putre, OMNY Executive. “This
month, hundreds of thousands of
our customers in the Bronx will
get to experience the benefi ts of
avoiding the lines at their Metro-
Card machine and paying with a
The OMNY payment system launched at the uptown Astor Street 6 subway station in Manhattan in May. File photo/amNewYork
simple tap of their phone, wearable
device or contactless credit
More than 7 million payment
taps have been recorded through
the OMNY system since it debuted
last May along the Lexington Avenue
line in Manhattan.
All OMNY readers accept contactless
Visa, Mastercard, American
Express and Discover cards,
as well as digital wallets such as
Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung
Pay and Fitbit Pay.
Once all OMNY readers are
installed, the MTA will roll out
additional fare-payment options
such as unlimited ride, reduced
fare and student fare passes. Customers
will also be able to make
payments with the OMNY Card,
available through the OMNY app
in 2021 and at retailers throughout
BRONX W www.BXTimes.com EEKLY February 9, 2020 12
African-American troupe inducted into Circus Ring of Fame
BY JASON COHEN
The world’s fi rst African-American
circus troupe, which began in the Bronx
more than 60 years ago, was recently inducted
into the Circus Ring of Fame.
On Sunday, January 12, The King
Charles Troupe was enshrined into the
Circus Hall of Fame, along with four
For decades the razzle-dazzle unicycle
troupe performed all over the world with
its basketball high-jinx and comedic antics,
exhibiting skills ranging from slamdunks,
dribbling, passing, jumping rope
“It was an honor to have been inducted,”
said Kim Anthony ‘Kip’ Jones,
a former member of the troupe, who now
acts as its spokesman.
The King Charles Troupe was founded
in 1958 as a unicycle club in the south
In 1968, it auditioned for Ringling
Bros. and Barnum & Bailey and was soon
signed to a contract with The Greatest
Show On Earth.
Nearly 50 years after fi rst appearing
with Ringling Bros, members of the
troupe were part of the fi nal performance
of the circus in 2017.
Jones, who grew up in the south Bronx
near Yankee Stadium, never heard of the
troupe as a child, nor ever imagined he
would be part of it. But, at the age of 15, he
was walking with a friend who told him to
come to tryouts with him.
He assumed it was for football or basketball,
but instead, kids were playing
basketball on unicycles. He was shocked
and hooked at the same time.
“I kind of fell in love with it,” he said.
“I was just blown away to see guys of color
doing these amazing things.”
For the next four years he immersed
himself in the troupe and the members became
his second family.
Jones recalled that getting used to riding
the unicycle was a bit of a challenge at
fi rst. But once he got that down, the rest
was a piece of cake. He was good at jumping
off the bike and dunking and doing
a trick called walk the wheel, which involves
walking on the tire, not the pedals.
“I defi nitely got some scars on my shins
learning in the gym hallway,” Jones said.
According to Jones, his family was
blown away by what him and the kids
from neighborhood were doing.
Being part of the circus and traveling
to places like Florida, California and
Texas, was not only fun, but also unheard
of for many kids in my neighborhood, he
He was active in the troupe through his
30s, until he eventually started a family and
moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
But being honored last month with his
former troupe mates was a surreal feeling.
“Being part of something that affects
the lives of children all around the world
that we’ve been able to come in contact
with that was special,” he said.
Jones is working with elected offi cials
in an effort to reestablish the program for
The members of the King Charles Unicycle Troupe in 1970. Photo Courtesy King Charles Unicycle Troupe