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Apple Pay with Express Transit mode is coming to the Washington Metro in 2020, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority announced today. No specific timeline has been provided yet.

Starting next year, riders in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area will be able to add their reloadable SmarTrip fare card to the Wallet app and simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near a contactless payment reader at Metrorail stations or on Metrobus buses to pay their fare.

smartrip-dc-metro-apple-pay-express-transit-mode-800x400.jpeg

Express Transit mode allows for tap-and-go payment, eliminating the need to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. The device does not need to be waked or unlocked, either.

This announcement comes less than two weeks after Transport for London rolled out Apple Pay with Express Transit mode across its system. Apple Pay with Express Transit mode is also rolling out to 85 additional MTA stations in New York City this month, including the busy hub of Penn Station.

Express Transit mode is also supported in Portland, Beijing, Shanghai, and Japan.

Update: As noted by the blog Ata Distance, Apple Pay support for the Shenzhen Tong and Lingnan Pass fare cards is also planned for 2020. This will mark a major expansion of Apple Pay across transit systems in Shenzhen and several other cities in the Chinese province of Guangdong.

Article Link: Apple Pay With Express Transit Mode Coming to D.C. Metro and More Chinese Cities in 2020
 
Last edited:

squirrelist

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2006
129
106
San Francisco, CA
It sounds like you still have to have a SmarTrip account rather than just charge the account of whatever credit card you choose like New York is doing. It would have been great for tourists if they could just pay for the rides with their credit card rather than create an account with a balance that you will probably not fully deplete. But I'm sure a major source of income for WMATA is cards that get loaded with money that doesn't get used up.

The other thing that will make this annoying is every time you travel between New York and DC you'll have to go into your phone settings and swap the selected transit card.
 

bobtem

macrumors 6502
Jun 5, 2017
302
340
Does this get you through the turnstile, or just allow to pay with your phone? I travel a lot to D.C. and I have a collection of metro cards that cost me $2 each because I keep forgetting to bring the card. It would be great to not need the card at all, just wave your phone at the turnstile.
 

hsoj1006

macrumors member
Aug 19, 2015
94
79
This is great news for someone like me who takes Metro often in DC. I absolutely hate taking out my wallet in the Metro Stations (some are SUPER shady). If I can just scan my Apple Watch, I am good with that!
 

kingpushup

macrumors regular
Jun 24, 2013
222
234
These are all Cubic-managed transit fares.. So, when will they add San Francisco's Clipper Card (also cubic).
 

squirrelist

macrumors regular
Jun 27, 2006
129
106
San Francisco, CA
Does this get you through the turnstile, or just allow to pay with your phone? I travel a lot to D.C. and I have a collection of metro cards that cost me $2 each because I keep forgetting to bring the card. It would be great to not need the card at all, just wave your phone at the turnstile.

There don't seem to be any details released yet, but yes, this seems to be a replacement for the physical card. Apple's "Express Transit" feature allows you to assign a card in the Settings app on your iPhone or Watch (XS/XR, Watch Series 4 or higher, I believe) that doesn't require authentication, but just for certain transit agencies, not for general purchases. So no need to pull up Wallet or authenticate. You just tap the phone or watch like you would your physical card. I'm looking forward to this too because I lived in DC until last month and I'll be traveling back often for work. I almost forgot to put my SmarTrip card in my wallet before I came back recently.
 
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Vanilla35

macrumors 68040
Apr 11, 2013
3,344
1,442
Washington D.C.
Holy **** it's about time. I've been waiting like 7 years for this.
[automerge]1576186051[/automerge]
Does this get you through the turnstile, or just allow to pay with your phone? I travel a lot to D.C. and I have a collection of metro cards that cost me $2 each because I keep forgetting to bring the card. It would be great to not need the card at all, just wave your phone at the turnstile.

It's described as being able to be used at the turnstile, which means we can finally rid ourselves of our awful physical metro card, and needing to take your wallet out every day to get to it.
 

Airforcekid

macrumors 68000
Sep 29, 2008
1,674
554
United States of America
It sounds like you still have to have a SmarTrip account rather than just charge the account of whatever credit card you choose like New York is doing. It would have been great for tourists if they could just pay for the rides with their credit card rather than create an account with a balance that you will probably not fully deplete. But I'm sure a major source of income for WMATA is cards that get loaded with money that doesn't get used up.

The other thing that will make this annoying is every time you travel between New York and DC you'll have to go into your phone settings and swap the selected transit card.
If you have location on for wallet you shouldnt have to switch cards. I have multiple reward cards that pop up for what store im in im sure they can make it work by what city your in as well.
 

japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,324
2,768
Japan
The beauty of Express Pay is there is no need to authenticate the device. Which is why Express Pay with Suica on the Apple Watch so great in Japan, where many retailers also accept Suica. I've had my watch three years, and I still get a "This is so cool!" feeling every time I use Express Pay at the store. (Yeah, simple things amuse me, 🤣)
 
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dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,807
1,952
Phoenix, AZ
Awesome! I’m ok with this type of implementation if it means they’ll roll it out faster without having to wait for new hardware. Come on other Cubic cities!
 

jpn

Cancelled
Feb 9, 2003
1,854
1,986
The beauty of Express Pay is there is no need to authenticate the device. Which is why Express Pay with Suica on the Apple Watch so great in Japan, where many retailers also accept Suica. I've had my watch three years, and I still get a "This is so cool!" feeling every time I use Express Pay at the store. (Yeah, simple things amuse me, 🤣)

agreed!
being able to use Suica for literally all small payments almost everywhere was a cashless breakthrough.
(its all rather confusing to me still. i wonder if Express Pay is the best term to use for this? maybe Express Card?)
 
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dontwalkhand

macrumors 603
Jul 5, 2007
5,807
1,952
Phoenix, AZ
agreed!
being able to use Suica for literally all small payments almost everywhere was a cashless breakthrough.
(its all rather confusing to me still. i wonder if Express Pay is the best term to use for this? maybe Express Card?)
The official terminology is Express Transit Card. Though in the case of Japan, it’s used for more than transit.
 
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japanime

macrumors 68020
Feb 27, 2006
2,324
2,768
Japan
agreed!
being able to use Suica for literally all small payments almost everywhere was a cashless breakthrough.
Absolutely. The number of stores (and even vending machines) that accept Suica is incredible. There's a shopping mall near my house where every one of the 100+ stores take Suica.
 
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