U.S.’s largest transit system will soon let you pay with your Apple iPhone

“The country’s largest, most used transit system is finally being dragged into the 21st century,” Daniel Howley reports for Yahoo Finance. “New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), is adding tap-to-pay systems at a handful of subway stations in Manhattan and buses on Staten Island that will let you use your iPhone, Apple Watch, Android smartphones and wearables, and contactless payment cards to pay for your commute.”

“The tap-to-pay feature launches Friday, May 31, and will make it easier for the system’s 2.75 billion annual riders to get on subways and buses in New York City by eliminating the need to swipe the MTA’s aging, credit card-like MetroCard,” Howley reports. “It could also serve as a catalyst to finally push Americans to adopt contactless payments.”

“I saw the new system in action with an iPhone and Apple Watch, and it certainly looks easy enough to use. Simply place your device up to the payment area, and you’re set. It will recognize your payment and let you slip through the turnstile or hop on a bus,” Howley reports. “You won’t have to turn on your phone’s screen to pay for your subway or bus trip. Instead, you’ll just be able to place it on top of the scanner and keep walking.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Congrats, New York City mass transit users, especially those with Apple Watches – just tap and go!

Related articles:
Apple Pay coming to Los Angeles Metro Transit System this fall – January 25, 2019


  1. Good! It takes practice to swipe the current cards correctly, and you can always identify the tourists because it takes them many tries before they get through. Lousy design. Being able to just wave my Apple Watch would be nice. But, it’ll probably take them many years to get this at every station. MTA doesn’t move fast.

  2. The MetroCard sucks. My half-fare senior-citizen card is always getting read errors on the buses. Those lousy card readers are so easy to foul up if other people use dirty or greasy cards. I can’t wait until the MTA gets system-wide contact-less payment options.

    However, I’m not buying an iPhone just to get contact-less payments. I’d consider buying an AppleWatch if I could just get away with using that to pay the fare.

    1. I doubt Apple Pay will let you travel on a Senior fare. You’ll need a Senior OMNY card for that, and this doesn’t appear to show iPhones emulating OMNY cards. Hopefully they’re going down the same path as Ventra.

  3. We’ve had this function with contactless on the London Underground for several years now. It’s a great update and will drive use of Apple Pay for sure!

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