Tap to Ride! Monterey-Salinas Transit Becomes 1st in California to Offer Riders the Ability to Tap to Pay with Visa
Today, in collaboration with Visa, Caltrans, Cybersource, Littlepay, and SC Soft, Monterey-Salinas Transit (MST) became the first transit agency in California to offer bus riders a contactless payment option. As cities begin to reopen, public transportation will play a critical role in recovery, and contactless payments can help provide a safe and easy experience for riders and transit operators seeking limited physical touchpoints and interactions. MST riders can now simply tap their contactless credit, debit, prepaid card or payment-enabled device on readers in MST buses for an easy and secure way to travel, without needing to purchase or load a separate transit card or handle cash while boarding.
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(Graphic: Business Wire)
Visa research shows that enabling tap to pay on transit systems like these can be good for economic recovery, bringing more than a 15% lift in transactions from merchants in surrounding neighborhoods1. MST is the fifth transit agency in the U.S. to accept tap to pay for fares, following Chicago, Miami, New York and Portland, OR. MST is also the first public transit system in the country that is located outside of a large urban area to introduce tap to pay fares – demonstrating contactless payments as a good fit for any size agency looking to enhance the customer experience.
“Visa recognizes the importance of expanding eligibility and access to fare payment options that meet the needs of a diverse set of transit riders,” said Brian Cole, SVP and head of North America product, Visa. “This effort with MST and Caltrans illustrates how open, contactless payments can support innovative and equitable fare policies to benefit riders and transit operators across the state.”
MST riders who tap will benefit from “fare capping” ensuring riders won’t pay more than $10.00 per day—as long as they pay with the same card or mobile wallet throughout the day. The tap to pay option on MST’s entire bus fleet is the first contactless payment demonstration of the California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP), a Caltrans-led initiative to make travel simpler and more cost-effective for the 40 million California residents, served by 300-plus transit agencies, who collectively take approximately 1.3 billion2 passenger trips annually.