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Washington & Chicago to Introduce NFC Ticketing

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Resurgent phoenix
Resurgent phoenix  
3/29/2014 4:13:17 PM
User Rank City Slicker
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
Terry, I do believe with GPS we should be able to tell arrival time. Great comment!

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/26/2014 7:07:33 AM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
@Amy, I believe the NFC technology will allow us to use any credit card (contactless) or NFC phone to pay for transit and forget about different tickets or monthly plans.

The London Oyster system already works that way --with some limitations--  using contactless cards. Users are charged until their ridership reaches the value of travelcards and then no addtional charge is made until the next travelcard period.

Barcelona is planning a similar service when they move to NFC, probably next year.

Amy Rogers Nazarov
Amy Rogers Nazarov  
3/25/2014 5:22:18 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
Pablo, I am a DC resident and I had not heard about this! Many thanks for bringing me up to speed on my own city *sheesh*

I remember well when the economic downturn happened in the US - and all of a sudden you could no longer enter the Metro gates with insufficient fare on your SmarTrip card. Metro used to have a fairly forgiving policy that let you ride on less than a $1, but then have to scrounge for change to exit. 

I have been well trained to reload value onto my card at Metro stops but I surmise that the technology you write about will only front-load Metro's revenue stream even more than the current tech already does. 

 

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/20/2014 12:43:49 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
@Dave, car transponders for paying toll charges do not store any balance on the device, they only transmitt a unique code (usually encrypted) and the system checks against the balance on your account and deducts the toll charge.

Most Mifare smartcards do store the balance in the card and it is deduced when you board a bus or enter the Metro. In some cities, such as Washington, it is deduced at the exit as the price differs depending on the length of the journey.

In order to top up your smartcard you need to use a "vending" machine that can update the card securely. My idea is to be able to do that anywhere, anytime, with a NFC smartphone and a special app, charging to a pre-registered credit card. This could save a lot of time and trouble for passengers and free the machines for people who need to use them.

People are able to pay for metered parking using apps, I don't see the reason why we can't do that with public transportation.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
3/20/2014 9:16:02 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
For my carpooling in Los Angeles, I use the Express Lanes which we have to pay a certain amount each trip if we drive alone in the car, usually around $0.95 per one way drive sometimes more depening upont the time of day. When driving we go through a checkpoint and the transponder in my car beeps twice to let me know it registered, there by deducting the amount. When the money pool of $40 goes below $10 it recharges itself via credit card.

Smart phones can do so much but the technology is limiting in most areas. If we want to buy something usuing a mobile phone wallet, not to many stores accept that. a lot of people i know are worried about security when making purchases usuing their moblie phones.

Software has a lot of limitations since it usually is not compatible with what they want to do, so they will have to spend millions on upgrades and testing just to get it to work properly.

Do you know how long this roll out will take, inlcuding testing and security?

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/19/2014 6:07:26 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
Dave, in theory any smartcard based on the Mifare standard (99% of them in the US) can be replaced by a mobile phone with NFC and a secure element. 

Some transit authorities claim that the transactions are not quick enough with smartphones, but that is a software issue, and the original problems are being resolved.

Another approach is being able to use your phone to recharge the smartcard. While some cities, such as Boston and London, allow to charge the cards over the inernet you still have to go to a vending machine to update the balance.

Pablo Valerio
Pablo Valerio  
3/19/2014 6:01:36 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
@Kim, I think London is doing it right, while they don't have mobile tap-and-go yet, the London transport allows to use contactless credit cards to pay for buses, and it is coming to the "Tube" soon.

Davedgreat2000
Davedgreat2000  
3/19/2014 5:28:56 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
Kim,

Alot of times when you buy a ticket online they add a service fee of a couple of bucks. So yes they do add extra fees.

The Smartphone revololution is among us. My wife travels serveral times a year by plane, she uses her smartphone  to check in and never needs a paper ticket. its great because she always has her phone with her but may forget her paper tickets.

The Metro here in Los Angeles using TAP Cards, you fill them with money and TAP the cards on the meter in the bus or rail and it automatically deducts the money from your TAP Card account. if we could do that with Phones that would be one less card we would have to carry in our wallets.

Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney  
3/19/2014 2:26:04 PM
User Rank Blogger
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
Ha! Let's see if any transit authority has the nerve to rename it a "convenience charge" or "service fee." The reactions will certainly be good theater.

Kim Davis
Kim Davis  
3/19/2014 1:28:25 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: Wireless transportation utopia
What's more, the MTA has recently started charging $1 for every new or replacement Metrocard.  As if it's some kind of desirable object in its own right. Imagine if you bought a seat at the theater for $100, and they then charged you $1 for the ticket too.  (Don't tell me, they already do.)

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