New York City's MTA plans to debut smartphone-based transit payments by mid-2018

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in iPhone
The Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York issued a public bid on Wednesday, asking for proposals for a new contactless ticketing system to replace the MetroCard, and potentially allow iPhone users to pay for public transit on their smartphone.




Starting in June, the MTA will begin accepting proposals for the "New Fare Payment System" that will succeed the MetroCard for both subway and bus operations. The authority's new system will rely on both smart cards and mobile devices, like Apple's iPhone.

The MTA hopes to have the new payment system begin rolling out by mid-2018, first debuting on the Select Bus Service, according to ABC 7. Completion of the project, however, isn't expected to occur until 2021.

Tap-to-pay technology is, of course, common for public transportation in other major cities, such as the tube in London, Charlie card in Boston, and the Clipper card in San Francisco. But New York City has relied on an antiquated swipe card system since 2003, when it replaced a token system.

Of the world's 10 busiest metro systems, only New York City and Mexico City have yet to implement contactless fare cards.



Apple's latest mobile devices, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE, feature NFC support for Apple Pay at retail. The company is also a member of the NFC Forum, which is working to bring contactless payments to U.S. public transit, potentially signaling that Apple Pay could be opened up to support the likes of the new system the MTA plans to implement.

While Apple has not yet opened up NFC in the iPhone and Apple Watch to third-party developers, the company is said to have quietly shown interest in enabling features like transit payments and secure building access. It's possible that those capabilities could be introduced in a future version of iOS.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 19
    fallenjtfallenjt Posts: 3,982member
    Cool. We finally catch up with Japan 20 years ago.
    tokyojimu
  • Reply 2 of 19
    sandorsandor Posts: 557member
    Does Beijing have a contact-less payment system?

    To through another US city out there... Philly still uses tokens :) and, honestly, hedging US currency in SEPTA tokens would not have been a bad idea! (yes, the tokens from decades ago, when they were 10 cents a piece, still work today)
  • Reply 3 of 19
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 425member
    fallenjt said:
    Cool. We finally catch up with Japan 20 years ago.
    We finally catch up with (insert any foreign city) 20 years ago.
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 4 of 19
    kpomkpom Posts: 618member
    Just don't go with Chicago's vendor. We rolled these out 3 years ago and it was a disaster for the first few months. People were getting double-charged while others weren't being charged at all. Balances from the old contactless system were supposed to carry over, but many people had issues.
  • Reply 5 of 19
    kpomkpom Posts: 618member
    fallenjt said:
    Cool. We finally catch up with Japan 20 years ago.
    Tokyo and Kyoto still use paper cards for individual transactions and day passes.
  • Reply 6 of 19
    xbitxbit Posts: 244member
    kpom said:
    Just don't go with Chicago's vendor. We rolled these out 3 years ago and it was a disaster for the first few months. People were getting double-charged while others weren't being charged at all. Balances from the old contactless system were supposed to carry over, but many people had issues.
    That's pretty surprising considering that the same company provided the technology for London's Oyster cards.
  • Reply 7 of 19
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,743member
    Can we get OS segregation please?

    When you buy a ticket or pay a fare, the system will automatically assign you a car number, based on your device.

    I would like to be in a car with only Apple users, and Android users can also be in separate cars. 

    This would probably make for a more pleasant and enjoyable commute.
  • Reply 8 of 19
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,719member
    sandor said:
    Does Beijing have a contact-less payment system?

    To through another US city out there... Philly still uses tokens :) and, honestly, hedging US currency in SEPTA tokens would not have been a bad idea! (yes, the tokens from decades ago, when they were 10 cents a piece, still work today)
    Don't worry, any decade from now Philly will get swipe cards. It's only been in the planning/testing stages for decades. 
  • Reply 9 of 19
    kpom said:
    Just don't go with Chicago's vendor. We rolled these out 3 years ago and it was a disaster for the first few months. People were getting double-charged while others weren't being charged at all. Balances from the old contactless system were supposed to carry over, but many people had issues.
    The vendor behind Ventra is the same vendor behind the old Chicago Card, Cubic Transportation Systems. Ventra had a rough rollout but honestly, I don't think it deserves the bad rap it gets. Now that it's settled down I prefer it to the old Chicago Card, mainly because when people come to visit they can use Apple Pay instead of paying for a transit card. Regardless, though, it's worth noting that the New York Subway will only get its first contactless system in two years when we'll be five years into our second contactless system.
  • Reply 10 of 19
    In Boston, you can buy a card with your phone that you can then use to pay for your subway or bus ride, or you can pay for commuter rail and boat rides directly with your phone, but you can't use your phone to directly pay for subway or bus rides. So you still have to wait in line at the machines, then use a very poorly designed ui and poorly designed fare chart to figure out how much you need to spend, etc., because there is no on-screen option for buying a single ride or a specific number of rides. It sounds like what New York is proposing is a way to pay for single subway and bus rides directly on the phone, which would be much better. 
  • Reply 11 of 19
    chiachia Posts: 701member
    Tap-to-pay technology is, of course, common for public transportation in other major cities, such as the tube in London,
    This poorly researched article ( Oyster is the name of the contactless transport smartcard in London ) fails to realise the full capability of the contactless payment for travel system in London.  The system is such that you can use your contactless/NFC bank card or Apple Pay device directly to pay your fare within the London bus, London Underground (the Tube), or National Rail station within London.

    No special smartcard is required, even VISA MasterCard and Amex contactless cards issued outside the UK usually work.

    Those who require season tickets, don't have a compatible contactless card or are charged foreign transaction fees for using their contactless card within London can still obtain an Oyster card and load it with credit accordingly.

    The advantage of this system is that TfL (Transport for London) have the reduced cost of not having to issue so many Oyster smartcards.

    https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/contactless/what-are-contactless-payment-cards?intcmp=8610
  • Reply 12 of 19
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,192member
    Apple already opened up NFC to a 3rd party it's was a hotel chain to unlock their doors!!! 

    I figured it would have opened up wider once the second generation of iPhone's with NFC got released.  Apple really needs to open up its use.


  • Reply 13 of 19
    apple ][ said:
    Can we get OS segregation please?

    I use Android but some of my best friends are iPhone owners and we'd like to travel together. Perhaps there can be a different type of segregation - one carriage for people that define themselves based on the phone they use, and the remainder of the carriages for the rest of us.
    crowleyderekmorr
  • Reply 14 of 19
    jfc1138jfc1138 Posts: 3,090member
    sandor said:
    Does Beijing have a contact-less payment system?

    To through another US city out there... Philly still uses tokens :) and, honestly, hedging US currency in SEPTA tokens would not have been a bad idea! (yes, the tokens from decades ago, when they were 10 cents a piece, still work today)
    On their way out. Changing to a nfc card system. 
  • Reply 15 of 19
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,151member
    With all the uses adopting contact-less payments from a regular card or your phone I think it's time the phone maker started putting lights out support in to their NFC implementations.

    Sure allow ApplePay to use touchID for any value transaction while the phone is on, but we need a fall back when the battery dies.
    Surely they could have the phones act like a regular card to allow transaction up to the local "tap and go" limits.


  • Reply 16 of 19
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 425member
    jbdragon said:
    Apple already opened up NFC to a 3rd party it's was a hotel chain to unlock their doors!!! 

    I figured it would have opened up wider once the second generation of iPhone's with NFC got released.  Apple really needs to open up its use.



    Nothing to do with Apple...it's up to vendors to implement, which they're doing rather slowly.  I've lost track of how many stores I've been to that have NFC-enabled pos terminals and don't have Apple Pay enabled.  
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 17 of 19
    igorskyigorsky Posts: 425member

    mattinoz said:

    Sure allow ApplePay to use touchID for any value transaction while the phone is on, but we need a fall back when the battery dies.


    You already have a fall back...it's called the Apple Watch  ;)
    edited April 2016
  • Reply 18 of 19
    For those who are commenting about NYC finally rolling out contactless payments, keep in mind, unlike most other cities which only have two services, buses and subway, like Chicago, New York has many regional transport tie-ins, including things like the PATH trains and Metro-North.  They need to coordinate the roll-out for all of those passenger services, and companies that provide them (New York Port Authority for PATH Trains for example).
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