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Utah Transportation Authority plans contactless transit system

12 November 2008  |  8739 views  |  0 credit card chip

Transport authorities in the US state of Utah are rolling out a contactless transit payments system following a successful pilot in Salt Lake City.

The Utah Transportation Authority (UTA) has inked a deal with billing and settlement provider MetraTech and Australia's ERG Group for the development and implementation of an account-based fare collection system.

The technology will be deployed on buses and trains across the Salt Lake City metro area, enabling users to pay fares with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover contactless credit cards. MetraTech says the system supports all other types of contactless cards, including UTA-issued and employer provided smart cards.

The deal follows a pilot, begun in 2006, in which buses serving Salt Lake City ski areas were equipped with the system. The trial also let customers use their smart cards to access ski resorts.

John Inglish, general manager, UTA, says: "Acceptance of contactless credit cards at the farebox will bring a whole new level of convenience to our customers. By working with this leading-edge technology, the system becomes more efficient for all our customers, drivers and administrative staff."

Earlier this month Visa outlined plans to work with transport authorities in Los Angeles on a contactless payments trial that will enable customers to pay for journeys on the city's trains, subway and buses by tapping their cards against specially equipped terminals.

MasterCard is currently working with transport operators in New York on a contactless payments trial that will enable customers to use devices such as cards, key fobs and mobile phones to pay fares on buses and trains.
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