April 16, 2010

TTC announces plans to allow credit/debit payments

CANADA - Last night I attended a Toronto City Hall open house meeting for the public wherein TTC Chair Adam Giambrone announced plans to allow riders to use debit or credit cards equipped with PayPass when riding the subway or TTC buses. They also plan to allow SmartCard/contactless credit card access and iPhone PayPal access (basically it allows people to pay just by tapping their iPhone with it setup with a PayPal account).

Overall its a necessity. Other transit systems around the world (New York, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Seoul) have all switched to a variety of different card systems. The various transit commissions operating in the GTA area wants to create a seamless "any card" solution for all of the GTA.

The TTC has been criticized for foot-dragging when it comes to updating its old-fashioned fare system which uses tokens. This addition to the fare system will cut down on costs and make it faster/easier for users.

The open house included a presentation by Paul Korczak, the retired former chair of the Transportation Council of the Smart Card Alliance which oversaw the transition of New York's open payment system.

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