Washington enables contactless travel 

SmarTrip in Google Pay involves Cubic Transportation Systems and NXP Semiconductors
Mobility as a Service / June 17, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority SmarTrip Google Pay Cubic Transportation Systems NXP Semiconductors
Metro says customers can transfer an existing SmarTrip card or purchase a new one (© Eli Wilson | Dreamstime.com)

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has launched SmarTrip on the Google Pay app, allowing riders to pay for travel on any Android-compatible phone. 

SmarTrip in Google Pay is supported by Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) and utilises NXP Semiconductors’ Mifare 2GO cloud platform allowing riders to use their near field communications-enabled Android phones to board Metrorail, Metrobus and all regional transit providers that accept SmarTrip.

Customers can transfer an existing SmarTrip card or purchase a new one, and add value or passes.

Metro CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld says: “This breakthrough means our customers can now pay to ride Metro as easily as they buy coffee with their phones. It’s an investment in the future of Metro, as we modernise our system to incorporate many new technologies.”

Riders can download the SmarTrip App from the Google Play Store to add funds, purchase money-saving passes and plan their trip. 

Metro is also waiving the $2 SmarTrip card fee for all Android users purchasing a virtual SmarTrip card during the first six months.

Alan Stapelberg, product manager, Google Pay, says: “We want to make everyday things fast and easy with Google Pay. Commuters using Metro can now use Google Pay as their ticket to ride public transport in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia, making commuting less stressful.”

Users can also make contactless payments on Metro's newly expanded late-night bus service, which runs until 2am. The authority is also considering expanding the rail service to midnight. 

Metro board chair Paul C. Smedberg says: “Mobile fare payment is one of the improvements riders will see when they return to Metro, creating a touch-free experience with everything they need to pay, add fare, and ride, all on their phone."

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