U.S. Transit Agencies Gather in Philadelphia for Smart Card Alliance Forum on New Fare Collection Technology

Princeton Junction, New Jersey, UNITED STATES


PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Sept. 24, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New fare collection systems that accept open bank card payments are successfully moving forward, transit agencies reported at last week's in-person Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council meeting in Philadelphia.  The Transportation Council is a diverse group of Smart Card Alliance member organizations representing transit agencies, fare payments technologies, fare collection system integrators, and financial organizations.

"The meeting brought together transit agencies of all sizes - some in the midst of implementation, others in planning stages - to discuss and collaborate on strategies and best practices for deploying new smart card-based fare collection systems," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance.  "Based on the many new initiatives we heard about at the meeting, it is clear that transit agencies are dedicated to providing a better overall experience for customers through faster and more convenient open payments, better customer service, and enhanced information for riders." 

During the two-day meeting, small, medium and large transportation agencies discussed strategies for accepting open bank card payments for public transportation, challenges and opportunities for commuter rail, best practices for transit business and technical architectures, financial industry technologies and directions that affect fare collection, and the impact of new fare collection systems on fare policy. Transit agencies from all over the United States were represented, including from Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington DC, and from the states of Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Utah.

"We are extremely pleased with the variety of transit agency colleagues that came to the meeting, and I believe they came away with a deeper understanding of the implementation steps required to take advantage of new technologies like open payment and mobile ticketing, as well as the benefits these new systems can provide for both the agency and the customer,"  said Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority and chair of the Transportation Council.

At the close of the first day, attendees had the opportunity to see open fare payment in action during a tour of the Port Authority Transit Corporation's (PATCO's) Wave-and-Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card trial location, as well as the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Operations Center. SEPTA is one of the first transit agencies deploying an open fare payment system.

For more information on transit open payments, the Smart Card Alliance Transit Open Payment Resources webpage contains up-to-date information on North American transit programs implementing open contactless payments. The page includes descriptions of transit programs and reference documents, the library of Smart Card Alliance transit resources, and a slideshow that explains the basics of open transit payment technology.

About the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is focused on promoting the adoption of interoperable contactless smart card payment systems for transit and other transportation services.  The Council is engaged in projects that support applications of smart card use.  The overall goal of the Transportation Council is to help accelerate the deployment of standards-based smart card payment programs within the transportation industry.

About the Smart Card Alliance

The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. 

Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought.  The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America.  For more information please visit http://www.smartcardalliance.org.

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