Los Angeles Metro Transit System Plans to Support Apple Pay This Fall

The Los Angeles rail and bus transit system should allow iPhone-owning members of the public to use Apple Pay for fare payments before the year is out.

apple pay la metro tap cards
MacRumors can confirm that LA Metro, the transit agency that manages integration of the TAP card system in the Los Angeles Area, said it is working with Apple to support mobile payments for iPhones, with rollout scheduled for this fall. The information was obtained in a public information request under California law.

The support comes as part of a major update to the TAP system currently underway, which includes upgraded fare boxes across the transit system that will receive real-time data about fares purchased by the public online, a new TAP mobile app with TAP Wallet support to debut in late summer, and eventual support for Android phones with NFC, although the timeframe for the latter is unknown.

‌Apple Pay‌ support would enable commuters to hold a compatible iPhone or Apple Watch near a TAP card reader to pay their fare on buses and at turnstiles in subway stations throughout the TAP system.

The process is similar to using ‌Apple Pay‌ for in-store payments. Depending on the ‌iPhone‌, that means double-pressing the home button or side button, authenticating with Touch ID or Face ID, and holding the device near the card reader. Apple Watch payments are also activated by double-pressing the side button.

Los Angeles would join a handful of cities with transit systems that already support Apple Pay, including Chicago, Portland, and Salt Lake City in the United States, Beijing and Shanghai in China, and other global cities like London and Tokyo.

LA Metro's introduction of ‌Apple Pay‌ support is expected to increase public use of the transit system, which despite offering good accessibility, has seen its ridership figures wane in recent years.

A 2016 study by the University of Minnesota found the LA Metro to be the third most comprehensive system in the entire United States. However, in a metropolitan area of 13 million people, only about 360,000 people use rail on an average weekday, and just 855,000 ride the bus.

By contrast, in New York City, which has a population of around nine million, about five million people ride the subway on an average weekday.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

Martin75 Avatar
28 months ago
NY still has the best subway system I've ever used.
I assume you've never visited a city outside the US...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
28 months ago
No matter how often you use Apple Pay for the London tube and no matter how many rides you take on buses, tube, Overground etc, Transport for London only bills you once a month and works out for you, what the cheapest option is.
That's incorrect. Accounts are billed daily, at approx. 2AM in my experience.

You don't pay more than the daily and weekly fare caps for the given zones in which you have travelled. However, there is no monthly fare capping - so in some cases it can still be cheaper to buy monthly or annual passes if you're a frequent user.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
28 months ago
LA has a public transport system? Whaaat
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Reason077 Avatar
28 months ago
You know what's easier? Grabbing a token out of your pocket and dropping it in a slot.
Oh, please. I lived in Toronto for a few years back when they still used tokens. It was a terrible system.

Bits of metal jangling around in your pocket? Easy to lose. Easy to forget. A total pain when you have to line up to buy more. Subject to fraud (TTC lost millions to counter-fits and had to change the design). Totally inflexible when it comes to discounted fares, off-peak fares, etc. Offers little useful data to the transit company to see what journeys their customers are making and when.

But there's no way paying with your phone is going to be faster than a card. Every time I've used Apple Pay it's been slower than taking a card out of my wallet and swiping it. And actual cash is even faster.
Nope. Sounds like you're doing it wrong.
[doublepost=1548501755][/doublepost]
Now you can load your SUICA card into your Apple Pay wallet and make it the default payment method. This means that the phone does not have to be unlocked, authenticated, or awake in order to work. You literally tap the phone (in lock mode) and keep walking. It’s awesome!

Unfortunately, it sounds like this LA solution will still require authentication in order to function.
Yeah, that sounds pretty great, and I agree that an authentication-free approach would be even more convenient. But that would also have security implications, and doesn't it mean that the phone's RFID chip needs to be powered on all the time? Doesn't that affect battery life?

In London, it's become second nature to "pre-authenticate" Apple Pay using Face ID just before I approach the ticket gates (turnstiles). Actually very easy, and still much better than using a card.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
name99 Avatar
28 months ago
I assume you've never visited a city outside the US...
LA's system is actually REALLY nice. The trains are clean, the stations are attractive, I have no complaints using it.
The only problem is that LA geography kinda fights against it -- there aren't enough dense areas where everyone wants to go, or to put it differently there are too many non-dense areas where many people still want/need to go.
(Some of this is self-inflicted like the terrible LAX connectivity. Some of it is a**holes in surrounding transit systems who refuse to connect properly with LA Metro because they think they will lose riders --- apparently given their residents what they want is less important than maintaining their own separate transit empires...

But on the few occasions when I need to go into LA City proper, it's my transport of choice --- way less hassle than trying to fight downtown traffic and then park.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bpeeps Avatar
28 months ago
NY still has the best subway system I've ever used. I moved to Philly two years ago from NY and the transit system here is horrendous. In NY, I could run into any subway station, not worry about what time the train is coming and just jump on the next one.
Go to Tokyo. Their transit system is much better than New York's and it has the added benefits of being extremely clean and safe. No dirty seats, no garbage everywhere, and no bums or crazy people causing a scene on the train. Some stops during rush hour can be sardine packed, but other than that, it was a joy to ride.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
rosetta 2

Rosetta May Be Removed From M1 Macs in Some Regions on macOS 11.3

Tuesday March 2, 2021 5:20 pm PST by
Installing the upcoming macOS 11.3 software update on an M1 Mac may result in Rosetta 2 being removed in one or more regions around the world. In the third beta of macOS 11.3 seeded to developers for testing today, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser uncovered new strings in the beta's code indicating that "Rosetta will be removed upon installing this update." Another new string reads "Rosetta ...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
Screen Shot 2021 03 03 at 11

MagSafe Charging Port for iPhone Appears in Apple Patent

Wednesday March 3, 2021 1:30 am PST by
In a newly granted patent, Apple envisions a type of connectivity port using an iteration of its magnetic MagSafe charger to charge an iPhone, potentially paving the way for a future without Lightning. Submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday (via Patently Apple), the patent outlines a three-pinned MagSafe charger, similar to the ones found in older MacBook...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
galaxy s21 iphone 12 pro max front feature2

Kuo: Some 2022 iPhones to Abandon Notch in Favor of 'Punch-Hole' Display

Monday March 1, 2021 8:05 am PST by
At least some 2022 iPhone models will abandon the notch and switch to a "punch-hole display design" instead, similar to Samsung's recent high-end Galaxy smartphones, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Kuo said the hole-punch display design will be adopted by high-end 2022 iPhones at a minimum, and if production yields are good enough, all 2022 iPhone...