The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PATH), NJ TRANSIT (NJT) and MasterCard have announced the launch of a six month pilot program in which MasterCard PayPass will be accepted for fare payments on select train and bus routes throughout New York City and New Jersey. According to the companies, the service "enables riders of the three transit systems to purchase fares and transfer between transit systems simply by tapping a single type of contactless credit or debit card or device." According to a press release, the service will be "available exclusively to MasterCard PayPass customers during the first two months of the trial" before being opened up to other payments brands.
The trial, which will take place June 1 – November 30, 2010, is the first payment system to link the transit agencies, replacing the need for riders to carry specific fare cards for three separate transit systems. For example, commuters transferring from a PATH train to the New York City subway will need only one type of payment device for each ride – their MasterCard PayPass card or device – to “Tap & Go™”, improving the overall customer experience through increased speed and convenience.
The trial program is an extension of a successful pilot of contactless payments conducted by the MTA with MasterCard and Citigroup beginning in July 2006 when contactless readers were placed in 80 fare gates at 30 stations on the Lexington Avenue train line. During this new trial all MasterCard PayPass cards and devices will be accepted from any issuing financial institution.
"The technology that we're testing will make life easier for our customers and help reduce our cost of doing business at the same time," said MTA Chairman and CEO Jay H. Walder. "By using an open network we'll break down regional barriers and let people travel across the region with a card that's already sitting in their wallets. We're thrilled to be working with the Port Authority, NJ TRANSIT and MasterCard to test these innovations for our customers."