Apple Pay Express Transit Users in NYC Reportedly Being Charged Just for Going Near Tap-and-Pay Readers

Some travelers on the New York City subway who have enabled Apple's Express Transit feature on their iPhones are reportedly being hit with unintentional MTA charges when they walk near the tap-and-go fare readers.

Image credit: PRNewsfoto/OMNY

Express Transit is an Apple Pay feature that allows users to pay fares with a swipe of their iPhone at the turnstile without having to unlock their device first with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode.

But according to the New York Post, the OMNY tap-and-go fare readers that the MTA installed have been taking charges from commuters who used contactless cards and their iPhones were pocketed or in a purse.
Megan Bagg, 29, of SoHo, told The Post she has been charged twice — despite having her phone in her bag.

"It was ridiculous. My phone was in my purse near my hip," she said.

Bagg said she at first blamed the charge on her contactless credit card — and even called the bank to complain — until the second charge occurred when it wasn't on her person.

"I've been keeping my purse far from the thing when I go through the turnstile," she said.
Another subway user told The Post that he had had a similar experience swiping in with his MetroCard at Grand Central Terminal when his ‌iPhone‌ was in his pocket, and only noticed the doubled-up charge when later reviewing their bank statement.

MTA confirmed to the paper that "about 30 customers" had complained about unintended charges when the Express Transit feature of their iPhones is activated. The authority said it is working with Apple on a solution to address "the issue of unintended taps."

Apple says it has not had the issue in other cities where the Express Transit feature is available, so the problem seems to be down to the hypersensitivity of the NYC subway's tap-and-go readers. If you're a NYC subway user and you're concerned about being hit by bogus charges on your ‌iPhone‌ when paying with a card, you can turn off Express Transit until the issue with the terminals is fixed.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Apple Pay Now Accepted at NYC’s Penn Station, Coming to 85 More MTA Stations Later This Month

New York City's public transit agency MTA today announced that its tap-and-go fare payment system OMNY is now available at Penn Station, a major hub, with support for both mobile wallets like Apple Pay and contactless credit cards from the likes of Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

96 OMNY readers are now live at 18 turnstile arrays serving the A, C, E and 1, 2, 3 lines at Penn Station, according to the MTA.


New Yorkers will be able to tap and ride at a total of 85 stations across the MTA system later this month, and the MTA plans to expand contactless payments to all 472 of its subway stations and all of its bus routes by the end of 2020.

Apple Pay will be accepted on MTA-operated buses in Manhattan beginning March 2020, with further plans detailed on the OMNY website.

Apple Pay first became available at select MTA subway stations and on Staten Island buses in May, complete with support for Express Transit mode. Riders can simply hold their iPhone or Apple Watch near the contactless reader to pay their fare, without needing to authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode. The device does not need to be tapped on or unlocked, either.

OMNY is currently limited to full-fare, pay-per-ride use, with additional fare options set to become available during future phases of the rollout, such as unlimited ride passes and reduced fares. Keep in mind that free transfers are only available at OMNY-enabled stations, so plan your trip accordingly.

MetroCards will remain available until at least 2023, according to the MTA.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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Revamped Apple Maps Rollout Reaches New York City

Apple on Monday began rolling out a major update to its New York City coverage in the Maps app, boosting geographical details and correcting numerous errors in the process, according to the New York Post.


The update should see an increase in details on buildings, roads, parks, sports fields, parking lots, ground cover, foliage, pools, pedestrian pathways, and bodies of water.

For example, users looking at Central Park should now see individual baseball diamonds and more detailed footpaths, while buildings are more accurately rendered in the 3D mode thanks to new flight technology to better depict elevations.

Apple may still be rolling out the changes to its servers, as some Reddit users report that the appearance of the new coverage remains patchy and seems to depend on zoom level.

Apple has been deploying the enhanced maps up the northeast United States over the last few months, rolling them out in a stepwise fashion in adjacent continental U.S. states.

The last update brought enhanced maps to the likes of Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, and Maine.

The data is gathered by Apple's own fleet of sensor- and camera-equipped vehicles, as well as first-party data gathered from iPhones using Apple's differential privacy. The combined data is also being made to ensure search results are more relevant.

At WWDC 2019, Apple said the updated maps will roll out to the entire United States by the end of the year, followed by additional countries in 2020.


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Apple Reportedly Seeking Large Office Space in New York City

Apple is searching for a large office in Manhattan with between 200,000 and 500,000 square feet of space, according to New York real estate site The Real Deal. One source cited in the report believes Apple may end up securing up to 750,000 square feet of space, suitable for up to 5,000 employees by rule of thumb.

55 Hudson Yards render

The report, highlighted by Cult of Mac, claims Apple has considered a range of properties such as 50 Hudson Yards, One Madison Avenue, and the under-redevelopment James A. Farley Building on Eighth Avenue.

While other tech giants like Google, Facebook, and Amazon each have a sizable presence in New York City, Apple has leased a smaller 45,000-square-foot office on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District since 2011. Apple has also rented a six-story loft mansion on Duane Street in Tribeca to hold briefings with the media.

Earlier this year, the New York Post reported that Apple was in advanced talks for about 60,000 square feet of space at 55 Hudson Yards.


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Apple’s All-New Downtown Brooklyn Store Opens Next Weekend

Apple today announced that it is opening an all-new retail store in Downtown Brooklyn next weekend following several months of construction.

300 Ashland

The store is located in the new 300 Ashland building in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, with an official address of 123 Flatbush Avenue. The grand opening will occur Saturday, December 2 at 10:00 a.m. local time.

The store will be Apple's second in Brooklyn alongside its Williamsburg location opened in July 2016. It will also be Apple's 11th store in New York City, with seven locations in Manhattan, one in Queens, and one on Staten Island.

The store is situated near the LIRR's Atlantic Terminal and Barclays Center, home to the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and the NHL's New York Islanders.

Apple has also announced that its store in the Shibuya neighborhood of Tokyo has temporarily closed for renovations. Apple recommends customers visit its nearby Omotesando store during the modernization process.

In related news, Japanese blog Mac Otakara claims that Apple is planning to open a store in Kyoto, Japan by 2019, and possibly two other stores in Tokyo in time for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in the city.

Apple Downtown Brooklyn is the company's 499th retail store location around the world if the new Visitors Center at Apple Park is included.

Related Roundup: Apple Stores

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New York City Plans to Replace Transit MetroCard With Electronic Card Readers That Support Apple Pay

New York City is planning to replace its existing MetroCard transit payment system with electronic card readers that will allow New Yorkers to pay their subway and bus fares using Apple Pay, reports The New York Times.

A committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority this morning approved a $573 million contract for a payment system that mirrors the one in use for the London Underground and commuter railroads in London.

Image via The New York Times

Starting in late 2018, NFC-based electronic readers will be installed in 500 subway turnstiles and 600 buses, with rollout expanding to all subway stations and buses by late 2020. Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Samsung Pay will work with the new system, as will contactless credit and debit cards that have an embedded NFC chip.

While the new system will replace the MetroCard, New York City will not phase out MetroCards entirely until 2023. Until then, the two systems will co-exist.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay

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