Apple Pay Express Transit will go live on Friday, May 31, at several stations in New York City. Following that launch, it looks like the feature will be going live across the pond in London in the near future.
According to The Verge, Apple is currently working closely with Transport for London (TfL) network to add support for Apple Pay Express Transit, which will allow public transit riders to use the mobile payment option to secure the ride. Express Transit was first introduced with iOS 12.3, and it’s meant to speed up the process of securing public transit. With Express Transit, a rider only has to hold up their iPhone or Apple Watch to the supported terminal, and they don’t have to authenticate with Touch ID or Face ID.
London appears to be high on the list of new locations that support the feature, but there does not appear to be a specific launch date circled on the calendar just yet:
We are having positive discussions with Apple about enabling express transit on Apple devices on the TfL network,” says a TfL spokesperson in a statement to The Verge. “More information about timing and plans will be available at a future date.
That’s a pretty general statement, so let’s head over to the official TfL Twitter account to get a clearer outlook on what’s happening:
Hi Aled, we are working closely with Apple to allow the benefits of this update to be introduced on London’s transport network in the coming months. Thanks, Tariq
— Transport for London (@TfL) May 16, 2019
So it looks like TfL is indeed working with Apple and plans on launching support for Apple Pay Express Transit in the “coming months”. Once the feature does arrive, as noted in the original report, you’ll need to select a card on either your Apple Watch or iPhone that is enabled for tap-and-go Oyster terminals.
Much like launching support in New York City, the novelty of the new feature may cause some traffic jams at turnstiles for a short period of time. However, Express Transit should make things a lot faster down the road, which is a welcomed addition for sure.
At this point, using Apple Pay Express Transit is certainly starting to catch on. Not only will it launch for the NYC MTA on Friday, but it’s been available in the Portland, Oregon region for just over a week. Meanwhile, in Japan, Suica cards have supported the feature for a bit of time now. Transit cards in Beijing and Shanghai, China, also support Express Transit as well.
Have you tried this particular feature out yet? Or are you looking forward to it (eventually) arriving in your neck of the woods?