WMATA: “Apple Tap and Ride”

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) have enabled the agency’s SmarTrip AFC (automated fare collection) system on the iPhone and Apple Watch, “giving transit riders a contactless way to pay for their journeys on trains and buses in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In addition, Cubic and WMATA have launched a SmarTrip app, “the first mobile app for the region.”

“With SmarTrip on the iPhone and Apple Watch, riders can add their SmarTrip card to Apple Wallet and easily use their iPhone and Apple Watch to ‘tap and ride’ at gates and fareboxes at Metro and nine regional transit partners,” the agency said. “SmarTrip on iPhone and Apple Watch offers the ability to instantly view balances and top-up stored value with Apple Pay through Apple Wallet, eliminating physical contact and standing in line at ticket vending machines.” 

The SmarTrip app features a fully integrated user interface that provides the ability to manage a SmarTrip card on the iPhone and Apple Watch, plan and manage trips, view arrivals and save frequent destinations and stops, through a Trip Tools feature. The SmarTrip app supports SmartBenefits and Senior SmarTrip card users and allows for flexible payment options including credit/debit cards, account cash and Apple Pay.

 “The SmarTrip app is a game changer for Metro riders, providing an integrated payment and management system when combined with Apple Wallet,” said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Paying to ride Metro is now faster, safer and easier than ever before.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has proved that there is a critical need for contactless payment technologies, especially within public transit,” said Jeff Lowinger, president of Cubic Transportation Systems. “We are excited to work with WMATA and Apple to deliver an easy-to-use solution that will change the way transit riders pay for their fares while minimizing physical touch points to ensure safety.”

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