New York Subway Stations, Bus Routes Get Apple Pay Support

Apple Pay has now become a viable method of payment to New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), with payment terminals installed at all subway and bus stations across the five boroughs.

Back in March 2019, Apple announced that cashless transactions via Apple Pay would soon be coming to transit systems in a number of major U.S. cities.

The MTA first started experimenting with Apple Pay at select terminals across the city almost 18 months ago, and the corporation has now implemented Apple Pay availability across all of its subway lines and bus routes through the One Metro New York (OMNY) system.

Apple Pay, which accounts for over 90% of contactless transactions wherever it is available, has been implemented by transit systems in Canada as early as April 2018. Therefore, the model has already been proven to work.

“You can use OMNY with your own contactless card or smart device. OMNY currently supports a full-fare, pay-per-ride option for now, including free transfers,” said MTA in a statement, confirming that you cannot purchase the MetroCard pass (or an equivalent) through the system.

However, this is only “the first phase of the OMNY rollout” according to the MTA, with plans to completely replace the MetroCard by 2023.

In Canada, we do not have Express Transit mode yet, which allows for transit cards to be integrated into the Wallet app, and iOS devices and Apple Watch to be used without even authenticating at terminals.

Vancouver’s TransLink is the only transit authority that officially supports Apple Pay without Express Transit mode. PRESTO’s iOS app does support Apple Pay for real-time reloads but users are still waiting for Express Transit integration in the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver.