On December 8, many Lyonnais received an unexpected notification on their iPhone: “Express transport activated. Place your iPhone near a travel card reader to pay for your journeys with your [carte]. » Thousands of Apple Pay cards have been automatically converted to express cards. What is it ? Explanations.
Since this year, Lyon public transport (TCL) has been equipped with new validators for bank cards and compatible with Apple Pay, Google Pay and others. It is not necessary for tourists or even Lyonnais to queue at vending machines to buy a ticket, all you have to do is pay contactless with your bank card or smartphone at the red validators.
In Lyon, Dijon and Paris, the iPhone and Apple Watch take public transport
Until then, validating with an iPhone required manually activating Apple Pay (double-clicking the Touch ID button or the lock button followed by Face ID authentication) and then bringing the phone closer to the validator. Since December 8 in Lyon, the first stage is redundant. The Express Transport feature (also sometimes called Express mode) has actually been automatically activated on the Apple Pay cards for Lyon residents, as we’ve seen for ourselves.
On the same day, the feature also appeared on the TLP Mobilités network in the urban community of Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées. These are the first major public transport networks compatible in France, but the Express Transport feature has been working for several years in other countries (Japan with Suica or Pasmo cards, London, several North American cities, etc.).
Check the selected card for express transport
With an Apple Pay card equipped with the Express Transport feature, simply bring your iPhone to the validator for the transaction to take place almost instantly. No need to identify yourself with Face ID / Touch ID or even to turn on your screen, it couldn’t be more fluid. So fluid that it’s surprising that this feature was activated for all Apple Pay users in Lyon without them asking for anything. The announcement of 8. December didn’t actually suggest enabling the feature, it warned that it had just been enabled, with an option to oppose it anyway.
This automatic activation requires you to check one thing: the Express Transport feature applies to the standard Apple Pay card, but it is possible that it is not compatible for use in transport. This is the case with the Swile card, intended for meal coupons, which we use at MacGeneration. It is then necessary to think about changing the Apple Pay card dedicated to Express Transport (Settings > Card and Apple Pay > Express Transit card).