Press Release Article
PORT AUTHORITY TO JOIN WITH NJ TRANSIT TO TEST CONTACTLESS BANK CARDS FOR REGIONAL FARE PAYMENT
Date: Feb 21, 2008
Press Release Number: 18-2008
MasterCard Worldwide to Implement Contactless Payment Technology
In PATH Train Stations and Select NJ Transit Bus Routes
The Port Authority will partner with NJ TRANSIT to undertake an eight-month pilot test that will allow customers to use contactless bank cards, key fobs, cell phones and other devices to pay for transit. The test will help determine if customers could ultimately use these devices to pay fares on all of the region’s transit systems, including New York City’s subways and buses.
The Board of Commissioners today authorized an agreement with MasterCard Worldwide and NJ TRANSIT to develop and test a “tap” payment card and other devices at all 13 PATH train stations and on two connecting NJ TRANSIT bus routes. The pilot is to be compatible with the MTA’s current test of contactless bank cards in the New York City subway system.
Contactless payment will be available exclusively to MasterCard PayPass customers during the initial two months of the test and to other bank-issued contactless card customers for the balance of the test period.
The pilot program is expected to launch in early 2009 after MasterCard develops, installs and tests the system.
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “As we focus on expanding the region’s mass transit network, it is imperative that we explore ways to make the trip as seamless and convenient as possible. As the mass transit system that connects New York and New Jersey, PATH is a natural test bed for innovation. Our vision is to increase mass transit capacity, improve reliability, and simplify fare payment to attract even more people to mass transit. We are investing billons of dollars in mass transit and encourage the private sector to make investments along with us to realize our goals.”
Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, “This is all about making life easier for our customers. The region’s diverse workforce relies on our extensive mass transit network to commute and we need to find a way to take a bit of the hassle out of trips that often span two or three separate systems. We are looking for simple fare payment solutions that will work everywhere. This is a step in that direction, and it’s the right direction to go.”
NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles said, “These kinds of initiatives help to foster intermodality by making it easier for customers to go from one service to another. It’s the right thing to do, bringing more convenience to riders using state-of-the-art technology.”
Art Kranzley, Chief Emerging Technology Officer, Advanced Payments, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “Now commuters can simply tap and go at the turnstile or fare box with a MasterCard PayPass card or device and eliminate the extra step of buying a transit card or ticket. The fare will be automatically applied to their MasterCard credit or debit account, which will improve the speed and convenience of the overall experience.”
MasterCard was selected through a publicly advertised solicitation process. Its proposal was the highest rated and lowest cost.
Today’s Board action resulted from a memorandum of understanding among the Port Authority, NJ TRANSIT and the MTA in 2005 that called on all of the agencies to explore regional payment options. The MTA launched its own pilot test of contactless payment cards with MasterCard Worldwide in July 2006 on its Lexington Avenue subway line. Contactless readers were placed in 80 fare gates at 30 stations at that time. The MTA plans to expand its test program this year.
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The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia, Stewart International and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge and Bus Station; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit system; the Port Authority-Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.
The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.
NJ TRANSIT is the nation’s largest state-wide transportation system providing bus, rail and light-rail services within the State of New Jersey as well as links to both New York City and Philadelphia. The agency provides over 882 thousand daily trips on 238 bus routes, 11 commuter rail lines, and 3 light rail lines. Annual passenger trips for FY2007 were more than 250 million.