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About Smart Cards : Applications : Transit Open Payments Resources

Transit Open Payments Resources

Smart cards are used worldwide in transportation applications, with millions of smart cards in use for both transit fare payment and parking fee payment. In the U.S., most major metropolitan areas have smart card systems in use in fare collection, all of them proprietary systems provided on a turnkey basis.

In the past few years, U.S. and Canadian transit agencies have been making plans to move or have moved to accepting open bank card payments–accepting contactless bank cards for fare payment directly at the customer’s point of entry into the transit system (e.g., at the subway gate or on a bus). The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) was the first agency to implement a complete open bank card payment system for transit fare payment in the United States, with system operational in 2009. In 2011, the NY Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Chicago Transit Authority, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority have active procurements associated with building new fare collection systems that accept open bank card payments.

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council developed this resources page for transit agencies to access up-to-date information on North American transit programs implementing contactless open payments. If you have suggestions for new content or links, please send them to

Transit Agency Procurements–Reference Documents

    • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

      • WMATA Technical Specification, New Electronics Payments Program, June 30, 2011. This document defines the technical specifications for the WMATA New Electronics Payment Program (NEPP). Among its specifications, the NEPP will be based on centralized accounts with fare calculations being performed by a central data system, rather than by field devices, and will accept a wide variety of fare media, including open bank cards, the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) card and the Department of Defense Common Access Card.
    • Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

    Current Transit Open Payments Implementations and Pilots

    • Utah Transit Authority . The UTA system accepts open contactless bank cards and UTA pass products.

    • New Jersey Transit. NJ TRANSIT has continued the Tap>Ride program to further test the acceptance of contactless payments on its system. In October 2011, NJ TRANSIT became the first transit agency in the world to partner with Google Wallet to test NFC mobile payments, allowing customers to pay with a simple tap of their mobile phone.

    • PATCO. PATCO has implemented the open contactless PATCO Wave-and-Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card, for paying at PATCO gates and parking.

    Smart Card Alliance Resources


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