BART cell phone technology demonstrated
By Elizabeth Daley, Bay City News Service
October 31, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - At San Francisco's Embarcadero Station
yesterday, Bay Area Rapid Transit Director James Fang showed onlookers
how they may, in the future, be able to use their cell phones
to pay BART fares.
BART spokesman Linton Johnson said as soon as cell phone manufacturers
begin installing Near Field Communication Chips in American cell
phones, customers will be able to use cell phones like debit cards,
placing a certain amount of money on the chip and using existing
NFC technology in toll stalls to simply swipe their phones to
Motorola spokeswoman Jen Lyons said Motorola had partnered with
MasterCard to conduct NFC technology trials two years ago and
while NFC technology is "definitely something a lot of companies
are looking at,"
Motorola has no specific date for releasing cell phones equipped
with this technology. Lyons said.
Johnson said BART purchased toll stalls that were equipped with
NFC readers because officials felt NFC technology, which is currently
available in other countries, would become rapidly available in
the United States.
BART reported that according to predictions from the wireless
industry, NFC technology could be used to pay for a variety of
goods and services.
The Translink program -- proposed years ago so that Bay Area
transit passengers might be able to pay 26 different Bay Area
transit providers with one card -- will be compatible with NFC
technology, according to BART.
BART reported mobile phone payment is being tested at the Phillips
Arena in Atlanta, where patrons may use phones to buy tickets
or pay for food at concessions stands, however, NFC toll-paying
may be a few years away, according to Johnson.
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