Apple Pay Coming to Transit Systems in Philadelphia, San Diego, Boston, and More Cities Between 2020-2023

Transit agencies in major cities like London, New York, and Washington, D.C. have recently rolled out support for or expanded availability of Apple Pay for contactless fare payment using an iPhone or Apple Watch.

apple pay transit reader
Given this trend, MacRumors reached out to transit agencies in additional cities across North America to inquire about their Apple Pay plans:

  • Philadelphia: SEPTA plans to start supporting Apple Pay and mobile ticketing next year. The rollout may begin as early as the second quarter of 2020, but the timeline is not firm yet.
  • Boston: MBTA says Apple Pay with Express Transit mode will be piloted in 2022 and rolled out widely in 2023. This will include CharlieCard fare card integration in the Wallet app.
  • San Diego: SDMTS plans to begin implementing a new fare payment system in late 2020 with support for mobile wallets like Apple Pay. No plans for Compass Card integration in the Wallet app at this time.
  • Toronto: Metrolinx says it is working toward initiating a limited pilot program to test out new forms of payment in 2020. In April 2018, Metrolinx reportedly said riders would be able to pay their fare by tapping their smartphone against a PRESTO reader in "far less than five years."
  • Montréal: STM plans to support Apple Pay around 2022-2023 for credit cards, but not the OPUS fare card.

We'll update this list if any other transit agencies respond.

Apple Pay with Express Transit mode allows for tap-and-go payment, eliminating the need to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. The device does not need to be waked or unlocked, either.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

Top Rated Comments

moiety Avatar
18 months ago
As far as Boston goes, the MBTA just cancelled their automatic fare collection 2.0 system, and the entire contract will have to be renegotiated or ditched. So if we even have a pilot of any sort by 2022, I’ll eat my hat.

As much as I’d love this and want it yesterday, we have far more pressing priorities; such as the old trains falling apart, the new trains falling apart, stations on fire, the third rail igniting if a trash rat even looks at it, elevators out of service, anything with wheels derailing with regularity, anything without wheels also derailing with regularity, a carrier-pigeon based signaling system from the 1890s, and a state government that’d rather rebuild seven stretches of highway before even deigning to tangentially acknowledge our public transportation crisis.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jared Strike Avatar
18 months ago
When I email Clipper (San Francisco Bay Area transit card used for all busses/trains) when Apple Pay/Apple Wallet will be coming I got this reply:

We are Clipper card and you can purchase Clipper card at many different retailers, if you can use Apple Wallet at one of those retailers you can purchase Clipper cards and add value onto the Clipper card there. In order to see the different locations where you can purchase a Clipper card you can go to our website at www.clippercard.com ('http://www.clippercard.com/') and look up retailers. I hope this information is helpful for you to be able to use your Apple Wallet for your transit needs. Also, we do not deal with ticket sales of the individual transit systems that would be a question for whatever transit you are interested in.
They clearly have absolutely no clue about technology, which is very frustrating being in one of the biggest tech hubs in the world.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
G5isAlive Avatar
18 months ago
This is already in place in Japan with suica cards where I recently traveled and it made things so much easier. Tap and go. Even if the phone is asleep. Kept everything in one place so easy to review my travels.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CPark98 Avatar
18 months ago
Knowing Septa, this ain't happening for another 10 years.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
18 months ago
Just support local transport cards instead of this, I can pay my fare with Apple pay if I want to now.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iProd Avatar
18 months ago
Realistically, the MBTA will start working on this project come 2033.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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