Los Angeles rail and bus transit system riders will soon be able to pay for rides using their iPhone and Apple Watch via Apple Pay.
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.
Apple Pay support comes along for the ride (see what I did there?), as a part of a major update to the TAP system, which is currently underway. The system-wide upgrade includes new fare boxes that will track real-time data related to fares purchased by the public. Also coming soon (in the summer), will be a new TAP mobile app with TAP Wallet support, with support for Android NFC-equipped phones.
Apple Pay support will allow Apple Watch or iPhone users to pay their fares on buses or at turnstiles in subway stations throughout the TAP system.
Apple Pay support is part of an overall effort to increase the public’s use of the Los Angeles transit system, which has seen a decrease in ridership in recent years. Of LA’s metropolitan population of 13 million people, only approximately 360,000 folks ride the rails on an average weekday, and just 855,000 take the bus.
Los Angeles is set to join a handful of other city transit systems that offer support for Apple Pay, including Chicago, Portland, and Salt Lake City in the United States, Beijing and Shanghai in China, and other locations like London and Tokyo.