Your TAP card will be available on iPhone and Apple Watch this year

This year, customers will be able to use their TAP cards on iPhone and Apple Watch to ride on Metro and 25 additional TAP agencies with Apple Pay. Customers will also be able to pay and manage their accounts via the new TAP mobile app. Be sure to check for the latest updates.

Categories: Transportation News

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15 replies

  1. I view this as an ADDITIONAL feature, and in my case, I will still prefer tap to the trouble of taking out my phone from its secure place. However, this is a really great feature for when one forgets TAP card (like after doing laundry), presuming the TAP card can be linked to the phone app. As Anna has stated, she has no info regarding TAP and App being linked.

  2. As far as actually using it on bus farebox and on rail station validator/turnstile.

    Tapping your TAP card, the existing way.
    Unlock your phone screen, open Apple Pay app, find the TAP card, tapping it, confirm the payment

    I would say the existing method is still much easier.

    • Not if a small background app handles the NFC and interfaces with ApplePain.

    • With Apple Express transit, you don’t need to unlock or go to any particular screen. Actually more convenient than digging a physical card out of wallet or pocket.

    • As someone who has used Suica on Apple Pay in Japan I can confirm that:

      – You don’t need to unlock your phone to use the TAP card under express transit.
      – There is no “Apple Pay app,” credit cards and transit cards can be picked up from the lock screen as soon as the phone picks up the NFC readers. No need for Authentication with selected Express Transit cards. The phone/watch will know it’s you. This can actually already be tested just by simply putting up your phone on the TAP validators. The infrastructure has been there for years already.
      – TAP can be reloaded by Credit card right on your iPhone, without using the app, and possibly only having to use the TVMs when using cash going forward.
      – Dead battery? No problem, phone goes into hibernating state to continue using the TAP card.

      I strong suggest looking for “Apple Pay Suica Express Card” on YouTube. On one of the videos you will see that the only time the Express Transit mode won’t work is turning the phone off on purpose, rebooting and unlocking phone on first boot (for security reasons) and when the transit agency doesn’t support Express Transit mode, in which case this would POSSIBLY be the fault of the agency, though this may not be difficult to implement. And there’s a “Power Reserve” video that demonstrates how it still works even with a dead battery.

      Considering, I have used both Physical Transit Cards (Pasmo) and Digital Transit Cards (Suica), I can tell you that Digital is much better. No fumbling with cash or credit cards, no waiting in line for TVMs or on the bus, instant reloads on the phone, which is especially for those not living near a train station.

      I would say the newer methods are much more convenient.

  3. I do have one question, will we be able to transfer an existing physical TAP to Apple Pay, or would we have to buy a completely brand new digital only card on our phones? Would much rather know this in advance before maxing UP on the current physical TAP card I have.

    • Hi Dave,

      We don’t have those details at this time. We’ll share more information as it becomes available.

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  4. I think tapping the card is more fun and I don’t have to worry about my phone battery dying. Hopefully the card isn’t going away. And there are people without smart phones, or are still using Windows phones.

    • Hi John,

      The app and phone capabilities are meant to be additional options. We will still continue supporting TAP cards.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

    • Uhh, who said the TAP card are not going away. In Japan, the Suica card is still available to use even when the battery is dead, as once the phone shuts off, the battery isn’t actually dead but goes into a hibernate mode so that In “Express transit Card” mode can be used, but that is assuming that TAP cards will still work. You would literally have to purposefully be neglecting charging the phone for that battery to be completely dead.

      Physical TAPs aren’t going away. I don’t even recall any agency in the world pulling such stunts. But this is a great step in TAP being useful not just on buses and trains, but on amenities near transit stations and hopefully one day beyond LA county as there is literally no reason why the cash value can’t be used on agencies outside LA county.

  5. So this will be, what, the third year we’ve been promised this feature will happen “later this year”?

    • Hi,

      The TAP app will also be available for Android devices. The launch date is TBD.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source