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Apple Pay's Express Transit Mode Working in Parts of London Underground

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Apr 12, 2001
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While not yet reflected on Apple's website, Apple Pay's Express Transit mode has been functional on at least some tube and bus routes in London since last Tuesday or so, according to multiple MacRumors readers.

Image: Trusted Reviews

One reader said the Express Transit mode works on Transport for London's U5 bus route between Hayes and Uxbridge, as well as at the Ealing Broadway and Farringdon stations serving the London Underground and National Rail. Not all stations support Express Transit mode yet, so this could be early testing.

Despite this, Transport for London has advised customers that Express Transit mode is "not currently an option" as recently as Thursday, although it said it is having "positive discussions with Apple" about enabling the feature. Apple and Transport for London did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Express Transit mode eliminates the need for users to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode or even wake their device when they pay for rides with Apple Pay. Simply hold your iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader until you feel a vibration and payment has been completed.

Apple Pay with Express Transit mode is also available in New York City, Portland, Beijing, Shanghai, and where Suica is accepted in Japan.

Article Link: Apple Pay's Express Transit Mode Working in Parts of London Underground
 
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Manatlt

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2013
894
294
London, UK
Ummm, the London buses are not part of the London Underground, the London buses are part of the TfL (and Underground is also part of TfL) so if you are going by that macrumor reader, the headline here is incorrect.

And I used TfL buses (140, 114) and tube (met line and Bakerloo line) today and express transit is not working on those.
 
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LordCoe13

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2014
275
304
Chicago, IL
Still waiting for it to come to Chicago. Frustrating that this was announced with Express Transit and is still not available...
 
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justperry

macrumors G4
Aug 10, 2007
11,429
7,876
I'm a rolling stone.
I hate this kind of (so called) service, off course, Apple needs a slice of the pie, much easier is to enable local transportation cards, eventually I hope this would be possible without Apple as the middleman.

Paying for a single ride costs more than a monthly/annual subscription so supporting those cards is much needed.
 
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EmotionalSnow

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2019
138
398
Linz, Austria
Honestly I don’t see the pros of this feature, it‘s not that much faster and Apple now also has to handle fraud (although in low volumes) ...

Ok so let’s all just hope hackers out there don’t discover a way to fake their own “Express Transit” to start siphoning our money just like our contactless bank cards are exposed nowadays ☺??‍♂️

They probably allow this only for some payments, there’s a reason it‘s called „Express Transit mode“.
 
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ssong

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2015
650
454
London, UK
Interesting cos I started using express transit with my Citymapper pads and after an initial error, it worked fine across all stops... rail + underground
 
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Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
1,990
1,646
Ok so let’s all just hope hackers out there don’t discover a way to fake their own “Express Transit” to start siphoning our money just like our contactless bank cards are exposed nowadays ☺??‍♂️
You really think Apple hasn’t thought about that?

I am looking forward to this feature improving my commute. The sooner the better!
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2016
601
1,022
Any word when this is coming to Singapore? There you can pay using Apple Pay but still need to authenticate with Face/Touch ID.
 
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martyjmclean

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2018
681
2,464
Sydney, NSW
I can’t wait till this comes to NSW. You can use Opal card or contactless across the whole state, but Express Travel Pass would be more streamline.
 
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19callum93

macrumors 6502
Sep 20, 2012
274
289
It take seconds to authenticate Apple Pay either via Face ID or Touch ID... are we seriously becoming that lazy?
 
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Halikaarn

macrumors newbie
Sep 5, 2019
10
17
Portland, OR
We have this in Portland OR, and they also support the local metro cards (Trimet’s HOP). Works great, and if you are using the HOP card it automatically builds towards daily and monthly passes. I think we were the first city to get full metro card support, before even NYC.
Our city is really progressive about public transit (i.e. the real time bus and train update system google hses was developed here.)
 
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Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
5,767
2,962
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
I'd love to see this work with Sound Transit here in the Pacific Northwest - especially if I could put my UW U-Pass on it.

I get tired of having to keep pulling my card out of my wallet, over and over, to show the fare enforcement folks. I've had the NFC on one card fail already, likely due to the repeated small flexes which happen every time I have to take my card out of my wallet.
 
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Khedron

macrumors 68020
Sep 27, 2013
2,155
4,241
Taking your phone out might still be inconvenient in some circumstances. How about an accessory that could be used instead of this. It could use the same non-authenticated wireless payment technology but be shaped like a bank card so you could carry it in your wallet or other carrying case. It could be called a Travel Card. I wonder what the battery life would be like for such a thin device though.
 
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Joe Rossignol

Editor
Staff member
May 12, 2012
670
1,902
🇨🇦
Taking your phone out might still be inconvenient in some circumstances. How about an accessory that could be used instead of this. It could use the same non-authenticated wireless payment technology but be shaped like a bank card so you could carry it in your wallet or other carrying case. It could be called a Travel Card. I wonder what the battery life would be like for such a thin device though.
Apple Watch.
 
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konqerror

macrumors 68020
Dec 31, 2013
2,298
3,693
It take seconds to authenticate Apple Pay either via Face ID or Touch ID... are we seriously becoming that lazy?
Seconds add up in public transit applications. You want it to move as fast as possible

To add, it's actually a safety issue, not being "lazy".

The gateline is a funnel point and they are engineered to allow a certain number of people per minute to pass through smoothly. Stations are engineered with this flow capacity, from the street entrance all the way down to the platforms and trains.

Stoppages and backups can lead to overcrowding, then stampedes and crushing which have resulted in death. If an exit line causes backups all the way down to a platform, somebody could fall in front of a train and be killed.

If people have to use Face ID, adding seconds per person, that represents a significant drop in capacity and would have to re-engineer stations and gatelines to accommodate.
 
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incoherent_1

macrumors 6502a
Oct 19, 2016
601
1,022
To add, it's actually a safety issue, not being "lazy".

The gateline is a funnel point and they are engineered to allow a certain number of people per minute to pass through smoothly. Stations are engineered with this flow capacity, from the street entrance all the way down to the platforms and trains.

Stoppages and backups can lead to overcrowding, then stampedes and crushing which have resulted in death.

If people have to use Face ID, adding seconds per person, that represents a significant drop in capacity and would have to re-engineer stations and gatelines to accommodate.

Not to mention that after some period of time there’s inevitably an instance when Face ID doesn’t authenticate. I can’t think of any public transportation system in the world where I’d want to be at the turnstile fumbling to re-authenticate with a long line of busy travelers behind me.
 
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jpn

Cancelled
Feb 9, 2003
1,854
1,984
It take seconds to authenticate Apple Pay either via Face ID or Touch ID... are we seriously becoming that lazy?

living in Japan, it would be considered selfish and ignorant to use anything other than Express Transit mode's automatic features.
needing to authentic yourself and use directly an EMV type of payment in a transit wicket that is not set up as your Express Transit card is a horrendous way to travel and prone to errors and delays.
3 seconds in a transit wicket is a lot of people behind you wondering what problem you are having with your ticket/payment, and they are shifting to other wickets en masse to avoid being delayed by you.
Japan National Railway and Tokyo Metro's targets for when they began to institute cashless systems was/is 0.3 seconds. not 3 seconds.
and whether for transit or for ID cards, you really should have a modern iPhone model with the ability to have power reserve so that even when your iPhone is registering as no battery (with the dreaded red bar on a battery) your dorm ID card or train ticket will still get you into your building or off the train at your destination station.
 
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