Upcoming Apple Pay Transit Support Details

Matthew Panzarino posted (way at the bottom under Apple Pay stuff) some details of upcoming Apple Pay transit support for Portland, Chicago and New York. It’s interesting that even though slow vanilla flavor EMV contactless works on all systems, Apple is highlighting Portland’s HOP card as well as Chicago’s Ventra which means Apple Pay Express Cards only work on the HOP/Ventra prepaid transit card side (judging by Tim’s keynote slide and this). New York MTA is apparently EMV only at launch but will get the MIFARE based OMNY prepaid transit card at some point.

  • The number of vehicles and transit systems supported will vary by operator.
    Portland will include subways and busses, as will Chicago.
  • Chicago will support open loop and Ventra Card systems.
  • Portland will support open loop and HOP Card systems.
  • New York will pilot Apple Pay (EMV) on a couple of lines in the spring and then roll out to additional lines throughout the rest of the year.

This is the first time that iPhone users in the US will be exposed to Apple Pay Express Cards in mass. Until now it has been limited to Suica (FeliCa), China Transit (PBOC) and Student ID cards (MIFARE). It will be interesting to hear user experiences regarding speedy Express Cards (no Face ID/Touch ID) vs slower transaction EMV (Face ID/Touch ID every time) on the various systems after the rollout. Face ID at every transit gate is a real pain no matter what snotty TfL users say.

Google Pay has been busy too, adding official support yesterday for the Melbourne area Myki transit card (MIFARE) after a prolonged testing period. Hopefully Apple Pay will add Myki at some point as well as Hong Kong’s Octopus card which is a perfect fit for iPhone/Apple Watch global FeliCa support.

Apple Pay HOP with Express Transit launched on Portland TriMet May 21