APTA is All Aboard for NFC in Public Transport

With every day that goes by, adoption of NFC in public transport keeps growing. In just the past few weeks alone, New York State announced a plan to support NFC payments for the 11-million-user Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and the UK Cards Association unveiled a framework to implement contactless payments, including NFC, nationwide on all forms of public transit.

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Their enthusiasm is well founded. The adoption of NFC will enable a global public transportation environment in which passengers board with unprecedented speed and ease; fare collection and access are handled with accuracy; and the user experience is uniformly positive and consistent from country to country and transit system to transit system.

Here at the NFC Forum, we’ve been working behind the scenes to lay the tracks. Last May, we announced that our Transport SIG was participating in workshops with leading standards organizations, including the GSM Association (representing mobile operators), CEN/TC278 (the organization promoting Intelligent Transport Systems), Smart Ticketing Alliance, and public transport authorities for the purpose of gathering requirements and harmonizing work across the groups.

Now we’re delighted to announce we’ve added another organization to the effort – the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), with which we just signed a Memorandum of Understanding enabling us to jointly educate the industry on NFC in public transport. APTA is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector transportation organizations – in fact, the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation.

NFC has already made a tremendous impact on public transport around the world. Now it’s time to spread the news more broadly to all public transport operators (PTOs). APTA will be working in concert with us to do that, showing how NFC technology can address a range of needs, including supporting passenger information systems, ticketing, and proof of payment fares.

Imagine a future when you can board any mode of public transport – anywhere – just by tapping your phone. With APTA’s help, that day is not far off.

If you or your organization is interested in advancing the adoption of NFC in public transport, contact me at phunter@nfc-forum.org.

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