Port Authority Transit Corp. (PATCO) high-speed line riders will be able to pay transit fares with their credit or debit cards in 2011 under a pilot agreement between Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., the transportation segment of Cubic Corp., and PATCO, a subsidiary of the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA).
The PATCO commuter line connects to two other major transit systems that serve the northeast corridor — New Jersey Transit and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Cubic’s new “open payment” technology will be integrated across PATCO’s 14-mile line between Lindenwold, N.J., and Philadelphia, and will simplify how customers pay their fares by eliminating the need to carry a separate transit payment card.
Today, more than 70 percent of PATCO customers use the FREEDOM card, the smart card used in the PATCO ticketing and revenue management system developed by Cubic. The pilot will operate in parallel with the current system, and FREEDOM card payment will not be affected by the pilot.
For the first half of the year-long pilot, Cubic’s banking partner will issue a branded, reloadable prepaid card with a contactless interface that can be used for PATCO rides in addition to retail purchases where branded prepaid cards are accepted.
During the second half of the pilot, any bank card with a contactless chip will be accepted on the PATCO system.