2006-02-09 / Top Stories

New York City Transit To Test New ‘Smart’ Fare Cards In Pilot Program

NEW YORK (AP) – Commuters used to swiping magnetized fare cards at subway turnstiles could soon be waving themselves through instead, as transit authorities experiment with key-chain tags meant to guarantee instant entry.

The six-month pilot program would make use of technology already available to people with Citibank “PayPass” cards, is expected to begin within the next few months at 25 stations, the Metropolitan Transpor-tation Authority announced Monday. The cards are already used at parking garages and other businesses.

Commuters will be able to wave the special cards – credit cards or key-chain tags equipped with micro-chips and radio antennae – in front of specialized readers. They will be instantly charged for the fare.

The readers will be installed at stations in eastern Manhattan and at two hub stations in Brooklyn and Queens, according to published reports.

The experiment is to be paid for by Citigroup Inc. and Mastercard International Inc., which issue the PayPass cards.

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