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Transport Companies in Miami, Philadelphia Opt for Contactless Payments

The use of NFC technology is becoming increasingly common on buses and subways around the world, especially through smartphones.
By Edson Perin
Jan 14, 2020

More and more companies around the world are announcing that they are adhering to the use of contactless payment solutions for their services. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, a type of radio frequency identification (RFID), has been the most popular among those that can be used in this way, especially with the support of specific smartphones and apps.

The city of Miami, Fla., has announced that contactless payments will now be accepted on its bus services. The Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works has launched contactless support across its Metrobus fleet, enabling passengers to use contactless cards and NFC mobile phones to pay for bus and train fares in Miami, one of the most densely populated cities in the United States. As a result, public transport users can simply utilize their American Express, Visa or Mastercard cards, or their contact-enabled digital wallets, to pay directly to Metrobus fare boxes and at Metrorail gates.

A Miami Bus accepts an NFC payment.
Contactless payments include a new fare cap feature that guarantees a maximum cost of $5.65 per day, equivalent to a one-day pass, for unlimited travel via Metrorail and Metrobus. Accepted digital wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay. "Making public transportation a convenient and perfect transit experience for Miami-Dade County is a goal of my administration," says Miami's Mayor, Carlos Gimenez. "We launched Metrorail passenger contactless payment in August 2019. Now we have added this payment technology to Metrobus, which makes hassle-free public transport more attractive."

The NFC mobile box office is also being deployed in Philadelphia. SEPTA, the transportation authority for the Greater Philadelphia area, is expected to add support for Google Pay and Apple Pay to its subway, train, tram and bus service network beginning in the first half of 2020. All 4,226 existing SEPTA Key validators, including buses, trolleys, turnstiles and station platforms, will be replaced as part of the upgrade, the company reports.

With the new functionality, passengers can make contactless mobile payments with their single travel phones as an alternative to using the SEPTA Key card. The cost of these upgrades will be more than $4 million for the company. The new service will include support for Apple Pay Express Transit mode.

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