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Use Apple Pay To Ride New York City Trains, Buses Starting May 31

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Starting May 31, New Yorkers will be able to use their iPhone or Apple Watch to catch the train or bus. Only single-ride payments will be accepted initially, however.  ( Bagus Hernawan | Unsplash )

iPhone users living in New York may start hopping on trains and buses using only Apple Pay starting May 31, Apple has confirmed.

Thanks to this update, New Yorkers will be able to ride the Metropolitan Transportation Authority with ease and minimal hassle. CEO Tim Cook previously said the feature would begin rolling out to MTA subways and buses in "early summer."

Using Apple Pay To Ride The MTA

There are a few requirements, however. As TechCrunch reports, users must first download the latest version of iOS and watchOS to take advantage of the feature. They must also authenticate a credit or debit card to use, care of a new feature called Express Transit. After all that, they won't need to open an app or even unlock their phone to enter MTA stations.

This effort is part of the MTA's public test of One Metro New York, or OMNY, its new fare payment system. This will only be available on the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines between the Grand Central Station in Manhattan and the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Buses in Staten Island are included, as well.

The feature was first demonstrated on May 21, where one of Apple's employees used her iPhone and Apple Watch to pay for a ride on the subway. The employee placed her device against a panel attached to the bottom part of the turnstile, then a ring light turned green with the message, "Go." The metallic arm unlocked and allowed her to pass through.

Google Pay

Even for non-Apple users, riding the train will be much easier starting May 31. Google announced recently that Google Pay will be supported on MTA stations on that date as well. As on Apple Pay, users won't need to open an app or unlock their phone. They must first, however, download the Google Pay app to take advantage of this feature.

Both Apple and Google's implementations currently support single-ride payments only. Monthly unlimited passes and other payment options aren't live yet. More options are due out in 2020, by which time MTA expects to have rolled out Apple Pay on all subway lines and buses.

New Yorkers won't be the first to ride the MTA using Apple Pay, though. Earlier this month, Apple enabled Portland and Vancouver residents to add their Hop Fastpass to the Apple Wallet and use their iPhone or Apple Watch to ride the TriMet, C-TRAN, and the Portland Streetcar. As to when integrations like this might roll out to other cities remains uncertain, but make sure to check back with Tech Times as we learn more.

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