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The Rapid Introduces First Contactless Payment System in Michigan

The Rapid becomes the first transit agency in Michigan to expand fare payment methods to now include contactless payments, in addition to cash, tickets, and Wave cards that are already offered. Riders can tap and ride across 27 fixed routes, two BRT lines, and six on-demand vehicles using their contactless cards or devices for easier access to its services.

As of April 24, 2023, customers of The Rapid will be able to use Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards that have the contactless symbol or chip for tapping. They will also have the option to pay with their mobile phones or smartwatches using Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. While all current payment methods are still available, the contactless method promotes greater accessibility and a reduction in carbon footprint.

“We’ve been asked for additional convenient payment options by our customers. We are proud to be able to provide a new flexible payment type that preserves our daily fare-capping equity,” said Deb Prato, CEO of The Rapid.

This new form of payment will include transfers and daily fare capping, ensuring customers never pay more than $3.50 per day. These features contribute to making this a great alternative to cash, especially on interlined routes. Cashless systems bring unsurpassed efficiency, allowing passengers to move quickly through the transit system while improving schedule performance.

Customers will simply tap their card or device at the payment validator, with no need to enter any PIN code. The same card or device must be used for each trip during that day to earn the daily fare capping. Even if the mobile wallet or smartwatch is a digital version of the physical card, switching between these options will not allow the system to cap fares. Just like with a Wave card, the same card or device cannot be used to pay for other riders. Riders will also be able to securely check their previous trips and payment history by visiting the Contactless page at