About Smart Cards : Applications : Transportation
Smart cards are used worldwide in transportation applications, with millions of smart cards in use for both transit fare payment and parking fee payment.
- Smart Card Alliance Transportation Resources
- Smart Cards and Transit
- Smart Cards and Parking
- Other Transportation Resources
Smart Card Alliance Transportation Resources
The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council white paper, EMV and Parking, was developed in partnership with the International Parking Institute. The updated white paper provides parking industry stakeholders with an educational resource about the critical aspects of deploying an EMV solution in the parking infrastructure. The white paper provides an overview of EMV chip technology and describes key considerations and refreshed implementation scenarios for parking industry stakeholders who want to accept and process EMV chip transactions in both attended and unattended environments. Download white paper. View executive summary.
This white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council to provide an overview of the prepaid card industry and the products available, including network-branded prepaid cards. It is directed to readers who work for or support transit agencies. The paper provides guidance on what transit agencies should look for when evaluating the feasibility and benefits of using prepaid cards as one element of an open loop fare collection system. The paper also provides useful information to other members of the prepaid card industry who have an interest in collaborating with the mass transit industry to expand the use of prepaid cards.
- Near Field Communication (NFC) and Transit: Applications, Technology and Implementation Considerations.
This white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council to discuss mobile applications that are relevant to the transit industry and to provide an overview of the benefits and implementation considerations for NFC applications.
- Planning for New Fare Payment and Collection Systems: Cost Considerations and Procurement Guidelines.
This white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council to present a conventional approach for planning, conducting a cost analysis, and procuring a new fare payment system or upgrading an existing system. Additionally, a cost model is presented that allows the user to input an agency’s current fare payment and fare collection costs and compare them to the costs for proposed alternative systems. The cost model is available as an Excel workbook and provides an interactive tool for agencies to use to assess different fare payment system alternatives.
The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council white paper, Reference Enterprise Architecture for Transit Open Payment System, was developed to support developers, integrators, procurers, and users of open payment systems for transit and transportation services with a framework for specifying, developing, integrating and managing the lifecycle and evolution of these systems. The framework provides a model for implementing a seamless fare payment system that traverses transportation modes, jurisdictions, markets, and technologies. Download white paper. View executive summary.
This white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council to provide the transit and financial industries with an educational overview of the various methods available for providing and re-loading fare media to individuals who do not have credit or debit cards, nor checking or savings accounts, and generally lack relationships with traditional banking institutions.
- Smart.Transit LinkedIn Group, open to Smart Card Alliance member and public transit agencies to stimulate discussion of transit payments-related topics.
This white paper was developed by the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council to inform the transit industry of the opportunities, benefits and challenges of accepting contactless open bank cards for fare payment and to inform the bank card industry of unique requirements for transit fare collection.
This resource page provides information on transit agency implementations, pilots and planned procurements of open payments fare collection systems.
Smart Cards and Transit
Mass transit agencies worldwide have been using stored value prepaid cards for electronic ticketing since the 1970s. Through the late 1990s, this market steadily began transitioning from magnetic stripe technology to contactless smart cards. Today, virtually all transit fare payment systems use contactless smart cards as the primary ticket medium. Major deployments are already operational in cities around the world, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris and Tokyo.
Since the late 1990s, U.S. transit agencies have made significant investments in contactless smart card-based automatic fare collection (AFC) systems, with over $1 billion in contracts awarded for new systems that incorporate the latest developments in information technology (IT). Most of these systems use agency-branded contactless smart cards as the primary fare medium. Most major U.S. metropolitan areas now have closed-loop, stored value contactless smart card-based AFC systems including: Washington, D.C.; San Francisco; Oakland; Los Angeles; Chicago; San Diego; Seattle; Minneapolis; Houston; Boston; Philadelphia; Atlanta; and the New York/New Jersey area.
While the transit industry was investing in smart card-based AFC systems, parallel developments were taking place in the financial industry: the introduction of contactless credit, debit and prepaid payment products; new programs and rules for low value transactions; and processing approaches that can handle micropayments cost effectively. Both of these industries also settled on the common ISO/IEC 14443 standard defining the card/reader interface. These developments created opportunities for transit agencies to directly accept contactless bank cards for fare payment at the point of entry where the fare media is ordinarily presented.
Two U.S. transit agencies, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) have fully operational fare collection systems that accept open contactless bank cards at the point of entry/exit to their transit system. In addition, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is now migrating to open contactless bank card payments. In addition, Transport for London also accepts open contactless bank card payments for pay as you go travel across the bus, Tube, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), tram and London Overground network.
Additional detail on transit use of smart cards can be found in the Smart Card Alliance white paper Transit and Contactless Open Payments: An Emerging Approach for Fare Collection and on the Transit Open Payments Resources web page.
North American Transit Smart Card Projects and Implementations
The following are active transit smart card implementations in the U.S. and Canada:
- Atlanta / MARTA Breeze Card
- Baltimore / MTA CharmCard
- Boston / MBTA Charlie Card
- Chicago / CTA Ventra
- Houston / METRO Q Card
- Los Angeles / LACMTA TAP Card
- Miami / MDT EASY Card
- Minneapolis-St. Paul / Metro Transit Go-To Card
- Montreal, Quebec / STM OPUS Card
- New Jersey / NJ TRANSIT Tap>Ride
- Newark / PANYNJ (SmartLink)
- Port Authority Trans Hudson (PATH)
- Philadelphia / PATCO FREEDOM Card
- Salt Lake City / UTA EFC Card
- San Diego / MTDB Compass Card
- San Francisco / MTC (Clipper Card)
- Seattle-Puget Sound / KC Metro ORCA Card
- Toronto, Ontario / Metrolinx PRESTO Card
- Ventura County
- Washington, DC / Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority SmarTrip
International Transit Smart Card Projects and Implementations
Selected active international transit smart card implementations are listed below.
Smart Cards and Parking
As the United States moves to an EMV payments infrastructure, parking industry stakeholders across the payments value chain recognize the need to learn about EMV in order to plan for EMV migration. The white paper, EMV and Parking, was developed in partnership with the International Parking Institute. The white paper provides parking industry stakeholders with an educational resource about the critical aspects of deploying an EMV solution in the parking infrastructure.
The use of contact smart card technology is also well established in the parking market, with parking equipment vendors providing solutions for all segments: single-space meters, multi-space meters, and off-street parking. In addition to contact smart card-based programs, transit agencies using contactless smart cards for fare payment are expanding the use of the card to pay for parking.
Other Transportation Resources
- American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
- American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
- Association for Commuter Transportation
- Intelligent Transportation Society
- International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association
- International Parking Institute
- National Parking Association
- OSPT Alliance
- Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council
- U.S. Department of Transportation Volpe Center