Ahead of the launch of Google Pay and Apple Pay on New York City’s MTA transit system on May 31st, Google is integrating new public transport information into Google Assistant in the city. Starting today, Google will be able to tell you when your next train is arriving, and it will also give you walking directions to reach the station. You can either ask for the next train overall, or specify a particular line. The functionality will work on Android phones, smart speakers, and smart displays.
The MTA transit system’s new Google Pay functionality is coming thanks to OMNY, a contactless payment system that will also support Apple Pay and contactless NFC cards when it launches next week. At launch it will be available to use on Staten Island buses and the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines between the Grand Central/42nd Street and Atlantic Ave/Barclays Center stops. The full system is expected to roll out next year.
However, the new Google Assistant functionality is only as good as the data provided to it by the MTA and, if Google’s existing Maps integration is anything to go by, it can be still occasionally be unreliable if delays hit the line.
To promote the new payment method, Google will update Google Maps “in the next few weeks” to show which routes accept Google Pay. Along with New York, this label functionality is also coming to London and Melbourne. In total, Google says that it’s working with over 30 cities worldwide to allow Google Pay to be accepted on public transit.