Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council Update: contactless fare collection systems moving ahead, new council officers elected

Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council Update: contactless fare collection systems moving ahead, new council officers elected

PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ, April 27, 2009 – Transit authorities in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Tucson are continuing development of contactless electronic fare collection systems, while interest is growing for mobile NFC fare payments, the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council said today. This news and more came out of the 2009 Payments Councils Summit in Salt Lake City, Utah, attended by over 120 Smart Card Alliance members. The Council also announced 2008 accomplishments, and its newly elected officers and steering committee.

The Summit coincided with the Utah Transit Authority’s (UTA) launch of their system-wide implementation of contactless electronic fare collection system, where they will accept contactless third party paid passes and contactless credit and debit cards from American Express, Discover Financial Services, MasterCard and Visa. MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) is collaborating with the New York Port Authority, New Jersey Transit, and the Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) on the second phase of their open payment system pilot where all types of contactless payment cards will be accepted, NYCT’s Steve Frazzini told attendees. Jerry Kane of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in Philadelphia and Jenny Sirnio of SunTran in Tucson spoke of their plans for contactless fare collection systems.

Los Angeles Metro’s Jane Matsumoto told attendees of their pilot, a unique solution that utilizes Visa’s prepaid contactless payment card, the TAP card, to reach the under- or un-banked transit riders in Los Angeles. This dual application prepaid Visa debit card that can be used for both transit payment and general retail payment.

“We are seeing more transit agencies understanding the security and convenience that accepting contactless credit and debit cards directly as fare payment brings to travelers, as evidenced by the presentations we heard at the Summit,” said new Council Chair Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority. “These kinds of open transit fare collection systems that integrate payment and transit systems are paving the way for new kinds of technologies. NFC mobile payment, a technology that is based upon the same standard as contactless payment, was a much talked about topic at the event.”

The Council published three white papers last year, “Transit Payment System Security” (August 2008), “Serving Unbanked Consumers in the Transit Industry with Prepaid Cards” (June 2008), and “Co-Branded Multi-Application Contactless Cards for Transit and Financial Payment” (March 2008).

They can all be downloaded by visiting: /activities-councils-transportation.

“Our goal last year was to provide educational resources on the topics most relevant to what is happening in the industry right now,” said exiting Chair Paul Korczak, NYC Transit. “Therefore it was great to end the year at the Summit, hearing real-world updates on the topics we have been providing information and research on this past year.”

The Transportation Council is made up of 130 individuals from 56 organizations. Officers elected for the upcoming year are:

  • Chair – Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority
  • Vice chair, transit – Jerry Kane, SEPTA
  • Vice chair, parking – Ian Newberg, Parkeon

The Council Steering Committee members are:

  • David deKozan, Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc.
  • Jennifer Garcia, Discover Financial Services
  • Scott Henderson, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)
  • Linh Huynh, INSIDE Contactless
  • Michael Laezza, Thales Transportation Systems
  • Dennis Marshall, Chicago Transit Authority
  • Mike Nash, ACS
  • Brian Stein, Giesecke & Devrient
  • Faye Surrette, MasterCard Worldwide
  • Larry Weissbach, ERG Transit Systems

Non-voting members are: Mike Dinning, US Department of Transportation, Volpe Center; Paul Korczak, NYC Transit; and Martin Schroeder, American Public Transportation Association (APTA).

About the 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. Formed in association with the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), 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