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    Port Authority, NJ TRANSIT to test contactless cards

Monday, February 25 2008
MasterCard Worldwide to implement contactless payment technology in PATH train stations and select NJ Transit bus routes

The Port Authority will partner with NJ TRANSIT to undertake an eight-month pilot that will enable customers to use contactless bank cards, key fobs, cell phones and other devices to pay for transit. The test will help determine if customers could ultimately use these devices to pay fares on all of the region's transit systems, including New York City's subways and buses.

The Board of Commissioners authorized an agreement with MasterCard Worldwide and NJ TRANSIT to develop and test a contactless payment card as well as other devices at all 13 PATH train stations and on two connecting NJ TRANSIT bus routes. The pilot is to be compatible with the MTA's current test of contactless bank cards in the New York City subway system. Contactless payment will be available exclusively to MasterCard PayPass customers during the initial two months of the test and to other bank-issued contactless card customers for the remaining time of the test period.

The pilot program is expected to launch in early 2009 after MasterCard develops, installs and tests the system. Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, "As we focus on expanding the region's mass transit network, it is imperative that we explore ways to make the trip as seamless and convenient as possible. As the mass transit system that connects New York and New Jersey, PATH is a natural test bed for innovation. Our vision is to increase mass transit capacity, improve reliability, and simplify fare payment to attract even more people to mass transit. We are investing billons of dollars in mass transit and encourage the private sector to make investments along with us to realize our goals."

Port Authority Executive Director Anthony E. Shorris said, "This is all about making life easier for our customers. The region's diverse workforce relies on our extensive mass transit network to commute and we need to find a way to take a bit of the hassle out of trips that often span two or three separate systems. We are looking for simple fare payment solutions that will work everywhere. This is a step in that direction, and it's the right direction to go." NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Richard Sarles commented that "these kinds of initiatives help to foster intermodality by making it easier for customers to go from one service to another. It's the right thing to do, bringing more convenience to riders using state-of-the-art technology." MasterCard was selected through a publicly advertised solicitation process. Its proposal was the highest rated and lowest cost.

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