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Get There Faster: How Technology is Speeding Transportation

September 18th, 2012 at 2:48 pm

how technology is speeding transportationWe all spend a lot of time in transit, and the time it takes to get where you need to be can be frustrating. Luckily, new ways to speed things up are always emerging. We recently discussed how cashless parking meters can increase convenience and save time, and anyone who does a lot of traveling knows that cashless solutions for paying tolls (such as E-Z Pass) can be a huge time-saver. But what if you’re not traveling by car?

Many other forms of transportation are finding ways that technology such as NFC and mobile wallets can make it easier to buy transit tickets and even use those tickets completely electronically.

  • The New Jersey Transit system allows riders to buy their tickets using Google Wallet, a program which has been so successful that NJ Transit now sees an average of 10,000 Google Wallet transactions each month.
  • The MTA Metro-North Railroad system is testing a system that would let riders buy tickets using their smartphones and let conductors scan the tickets right on the screen of the phone. This would allow customers (and Metro-North) to avoid the long lines, the need to carry cash, and the need for paper tickets.
  • Many airlines, including Delta, allow boarding passes to be sent directly to mobile devices. Rather than carrying a paper ticket or print-out of their boarding pass, passengers can bring up their boarding passes on their phones for security and gate agents to scan.

Cashless payment for transportation even got a boost from the government in New York State in the form of a recent law change. The revision allows employers to make employee-approved payroll deductions for many uses, including transportation. This means employees can enjoy the ease and convenience of using cashless payment for transportation via payroll deduction.

Cashless payment and paperless ticketing for transit are beneficial for both the transportation providers and their customers. Both sides enjoy the increase in speed and the eliminated need to handle cash. The transportation systems even save money in the long run as they can stop printing paper tickets. We expect to see more and more options for electronic payment and ticketing in the near future, so if you still have any paper subway tickets or airplane boarding passes, hang on to them – they may become antiques!

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