In a continuing effort to make their service more efficient and economical, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York (MTA) teamed up with MasterCard Corporation to run a pilot program for the tap-and-go PayPass system in their stations.
Between the months of June and December 2010, 26 MTA subway stations and 8 bus lines in the New York area were enabled with devices that enabled “contactless” payment- a commuter could simply tap their credit card against the device to pay for their ride. In addition, the pilot included the ability to pay for monthly passes online without making use of the current-standard MetroCard machines.
The recently-released results of the pilot program show that in the test period, 17,000 customers made use of the system, with 74,000 total usages. About half of the usages were due to repeat business, indicating that there was some customer acceptance of the new system for every-day commuting.
Based on the pilot’s results, the MTA is eager to enter production of the tap-and-go system, and implement it in all subways and on every bus by 2015. Aaron Donovan, a spokesperson for the MTA, said in an email that the pilot was considered successful because “it showed us that it is a workable system for our environment.” Payments were processed successfully by the devices in multiple environments, using two different credit sources (Visa card accessibility was added during the trial period).
What this means to those using the MTA is that soon, hopping on the bus or subway train can mean just a tap of the ubiquitous credit card instead of converting currency into MetroCard credit- saving the consumer time, and the transit system fare processing costs.
Read more at Fast Company.