The New Jersey Transit, which transports millions of commuters between New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia each week, has become the first public transit system to accept Google Wallet, the tap-and-go smartphone payment app.
"Rushing to catch the 5:45 PM from New York Penn Station to Montclair? Racing to catch that last flight from Newark Airport to Boston? Navigating through a sea of umbrellas to catch the no. 87 bus to Hoboken in the rain? When seconds count, don't waste valuable time fumbling for change. Just use Google Wallet to tap, pay, and ride. It's that simple," Marlo McGriff, business product manager for Google, wrote in a blog post.
Travelers will be able to use Google Wallet to purchase tickets at New York Penn Station vending machines and ticket windows, Newark Liberty International Airport Station, and on bus routes 6, 43, 80, 81, 87, and 120 as well as some buses on the 126 line, NFC World reports.
More public transit systems will be added in the coming months, McGriff said.
Launched in September, Google Wallet's tap-and-go system currently requires commuters to carry a Nexus S 4G on Sprint and download the Google Wallet app. Users can make payments through a Google prepaid debit card, or connect to Citi MasterCard credit cards.
It was initially marketed as a way to store and process credit cards by tapping your smartphone against a supported payment reader. The technology behind this app is near-field communications, a radio technology that can transfer information between devices held inches NJ Transit has been a test bed for similar trials of contactless technology in the past, with little widespread success. MasterCard and Visa added payWave support at turnstiles last year.
On Monday, Google Wallet introduced loyalty rewards programs and a few new retailers. Google has also said it will add device support from the likes of Samsung, HTC, and Motorola, along with more retailer support, credit cards and banks.
Meanwhile, the Utah Transit Authority is gearing up to accept NFC-based payments enabled by Isis, a rival mobile payments platform.