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Express Travel with Citymapper Pass

The ultimate public transport payment experience is here

Dec 2, 2019 · 4 min read

As of 2nd Dec, Express Travel with Apple Pay is active in London on all Transport for London’s stations and buses, and usable with Citymapper Pass.

We’ve been waiting a long time for this ultimate user experience, where a mobile device and app can support the entire end-to-end journey of planning and payments.

Express Travel makes this even more seamless since public transport readers will automagically detect Pass without the need to open one’s phone.

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Apple Pay and mobile wallets enable Express Travel

Express Travel works on top of Apple Pay. Users can upload Pass onto their mobile wallets and leave their physical cards at home.

Citymapper Pass is available on both platforms, but Express Travel is currently only available on Apple Pay

However, a challenge with mobile wallets is the proliferation of card choices. A user must swipe around to find the appropriate payment card, which can be stressful in a tube station in a hurry.

Pass can be set as the Express Travel card

Now a user can select Pass as the Express Travel card and never have to worry or tinker again. Apple will only use this card for transport and not for anything else, thus a user’s general mobile banking experience remains unaffected.

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Using Express Travel is like MAGIC!

Once configured, users can tap their iPhone or Apple Watch on the card reader and keep moving.

  • No need to unlock the phone- no passcode or Touch ID or Face ID required
  • No need to open the mobile wallet app
  • No need to swipe around to find the appropriate payment card
  • Works on low power- users can keep travelling five hours after the power reserve icon appears
  • Will not interfere with non-transit cards for other transactions
  • Should improve waiting times during crowded times for everyone
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Works with Apple Watch too

Once configured, users can tap their Watch on all transport readers.

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Industry developments

Major players are enabling these experiences. Mastercard, Visa, Apple and others have worked on improvements to global payment infrastructure. Transit agencies and system providers around the world including TfL and Cubic are updating public transport systems by deploying new gates, card readers and back-offices. We’re glad to be a showcase of this great transit experience enabled by the efforts of so many.

And industry developments create opportunities to improve consumer experiences further. We’re believers in developing a vertical payment solution for everyday transportation. This focus allows us to go deeper to solve specific challenges such as fares, subscriptions, multimodal, accounting and integrate everything with the planning experience of a transport app. We believe this is just the beginning for vertical payment experiences, and hope that Pass, Pay and Express Travel inspire other categories of the economy.

Pass Expansion and International

Citymapper Pass and Express Travel are available on iPhones in London now. We hope to offer this experience to everyone in the future. Pass will expand to other cities in 2020.

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A simple global payment experience for public transport

Paying for public transport around the world has always been cumbersome, which unfortunately reduces use. Meanwhile private transport modes such as cabs and cycles have improved ease of payments. Thus, we’re very excited these developments in public transport infrastructure, contactless systems, mobile wallets and express travel can help level the playing field and make public transport more accessible.

We’re glad Citymapper Pass, starting in London, can be a leading example of this seamless future. Imagine a world where every bus and train becomes immediately accessible to anyone with a smartphone. Imagine all this affordable and environmentally beneficial infrastructure available to everyone. We could all wander the earth as locals.

Learn more about Citymapper Pass at Sign up for Pass in our mobile app, currently only available in London.


The ultimate transit app for major cities

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