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.

apple pay tube


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.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

dontwalkhand Avatar
18 months ago

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
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
steve23094 Avatar
18 months ago

It take seconds to authenticate Apple Pay either via Face ID or Touch ID... are we seriously becoming that lazy?
Try getting stuck behind someone if their TouchID doesn't authenticate when you have thousands of people moving through the gates every hour.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
18 months ago

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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Khedron Avatar
18 months ago

So how does this work while it's only rolled out at certain stations? If I tap-in at a participating station with my iPhone, what happens if my exit station isn't yet supporting it?
You would be charged the maximum fare for a journey starting at that station. But you would also be unable to leave your exit station so would start a new life as a mole person living on the garbage discarded by non-Apple Pay travellers.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jpn Avatar
18 months ago

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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
incoherent_1 Avatar
18 months ago

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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

siir apple event april 20

Siri Reveals Apple Event Planned for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 12:04 am PDT by
Siri has apparently prematurely revealed that Apple plans to hold an event on Tuesday, April 20, where the company is expected to reveal brand new iPad Pro models and possibly its long-awaited AirTags trackers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Upon being asked "When is the next Apple Event," Siri is currently responding with, "The special event is on Tuesday, April...
apple event spring loaded

Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Officially Announced for Tuesday, April 20

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Following an overnight leak by Siri, Apple today officially announced that it will be holding a special "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time at the Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus in Cupertino, California. As with all of Apple's 2020 events, the April 2021 event will be a digital-only gathering with no members of the media invited to attend in...
apple event hashflag

Twitter Hashflag for April 20 Apple Event Goes Live

Tuesday April 13, 2021 2:21 pm PDT by
Following the overnight Siri leak and subsequent announcement that Apple will hold a media event on Tuesday, April 20, a new Twitter hashflag has appeared to help provide visibility for the event on the platform. For the last several recent events, Apple has utilized hashflags, which are little icons next to hashtags on Twitter, as a way to market its events. The company first started the...
iphone12cameras

Kuo: 2022 iPhones to Feature 48-Megapixel Camera, 8K Video, and 6.1 and 6.7" Sizes With No 5.4" Mini Option

Tuesday April 13, 2021 10:45 pm PDT by
The upcoming 2022 iPhone lineup will feature two 6.1-inch devices and two 6.7-inch devices, with no mini-sized 5.4-inch iPhone, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said in a note to investors that was seen by MacRumors. Two of the iPhones will be high-end models and two of the iPhones will be lower-end models, similar to the current iPhone 12 lineup. Apple introduced the 5.4-inch...
macos catalina serial number

Apple Preparing Rollout of New Randomized Product Serial Numbers Ahead of 'Spring Loaded' Event

Wednesday April 14, 2021 2:08 am PDT by
Apple is advising its authorized premium resellers and dealers to prepare for new products with 10 and 12 digital serial numbers, days ahead of when it's expected to reveal a slew of new products. MacRumors previously reported that Apple plans to switch to randomized serial numbers for future products starting in early 2021. The company now seems to be preparing for that roll-out, telling...
duanrui iphone13 notch samples

More Leaked iPhone 13 Samples Show Smaller Notch, Repositioned Earpiece and Front Camera

Wednesday April 14, 2021 1:06 am PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has today shared an image of two iPhone 13 "film samples," which show the same rumored smaller notch design coming to the iPhone 13 series that we've seen from other sources. In past tweets, DuanRui has accurately leaked the correct names of the iPhone 12 models and an iPad Air 4 manual revealing its new design, so there's good reason to think this leak is credible, ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
iPad Pro Mini LED

Mini-LED iPad Pro Expected at Apple Event on April 20 as Production Ramps Up

Tuesday April 13, 2021 9:53 am PDT by
Apple today announced that it will be hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Pacific Time, and one of the new products expected to be unveiled at the event is a new iPad Pro with a Mini-LED display. In a brief snippet shared with paid subscribers, Taiwanese supply chain news website DigiTimes today reported that Apple supplier Ennostar has substantially improved its yield...
apple event particularly innovative article

Gurman: Apple's 'Spring Loaded' Event Won't Feature Anything 'Particularly Innovative'

Thursday April 15, 2021 1:30 am PDT by
Bloomberg's highly-respected Mark Gurman says that he expects nothing "particularly innovative" or "extraordinary" to launch at Apple's "Spring Loaded" event next week, Tuesday, April 20. Gurman made the remarks during an interview for Bloomberg Technology, in which he reaffirmed that Apple will launch a new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, with the higher-end model featuring a brand new...
spotify car thing 1

Spotify Announces the 'Car Thing' as its First Hardware Device

Tuesday April 13, 2021 7:03 am PDT by
Spotify has today announced its first hardware device, the "Car Thing," which is an in-car dash-mounted music and podcast player (via TechCrunch). Spotify is looking to provide a product for customers who want a "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening experience, especially in the large number of cars that do not support modern in-car infotainment systems. The Car Thing is aimed ...