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New York rail commuters get access to Apple Pay in MTA eTix app

People commuting by rail around New York state can now use Apple Pay or Masterpass to buy tickets and passes through the MTA eTix app, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week.

The two payment options can be used for both the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road, Cuomo's office said. A full range of purchases are available, from one-way trips through to weekly or monthly passes.

Using Apple Pay with MTA eTix simply requires picking "Pay with Apple Pay" at checkout and authenticating with Touch ID. If a person hasn't already, though, they'll have to set up a credit or debit card in the iOS Wallet app.

The Long Island Rail Road extends eastward from New York City burroughs like Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn all the way to towns like Greenport and Montauk. While also serving parts of New York City, Metro-North lines extend farther afield, even reaching into New Jersey and Connecticut.

Vendor support has been one of the key obstacles to growing Apple Pay use, particularly in the U.S. While banks have been quick to jump on board, merchants have been much slower. In-app support is easier than retail though, since it doesn't involve upgrading point-of-sale terminals.