Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., a business segment of Cubic Corporation, has announced the end of the PATCO Open Payment Program. October 20 is the last day that commuters will be able to use the PATCO Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card, or any other contactless bank card, to pay for PATCO fares. PATCO's contactless Freedom Card will continue to be accepted, and commuters will still be able to use their Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Card for retail purchases, wherever Visa debit cards are accepted, until the card expires.
Officials from Cubic said the PATCO Open Payment Program provided Cubic with valuable technical information on the best practices for deploying and operating future contactless payment systems in other transportation systems. The company wanted to test its open payment account-based products and determine if people would use the same media as both their fare card and their retail spend card, and both objectives were successfully achieved.
"We thank all of the PATCO commuters in the Philadelphia region who helped make the Open Payment Program with the Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Card and other major bank brands a tremendous success," said Steve Shewmaker, president, Cubic Transportation Systems Worldwide. "We hope that during the past year we were able to help make commuting faster and more convenient for the cardholders. The information we gathered will go a long way in our efforts to create the payment programs of the future for transportation systems here in the United States and around the world."
The PATCO Open Payment Program was launched in the fall of 2011. PATCO partnered with Cubic Transportation Systems to create the first transit-agency branded, all contactless Visa prepaid card in the world. This was one of the first times that consumers were able to use a transit payment card for both transit and retail purchases. The new card, called the Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card, debuted on September 26, 2011, as phase one of the PATCO open payment program.
In phase two of the program, commuters were able to use any contactless Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card, or a virtual card in a mobile wallet, to make secure transit payments at PATCO gates and parking terminals. Riders were able to simply tap their cards and go, paying their fares with a quick flick of the wrist.
"We were pleased to be able to partner with Cubic and Visa on this groundbreaking program," said Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) CEO and PATCO President John J. Matheussen. "Our riders embraced the PATCO Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Visa Prepaid Card and I witnessed how it was able to speed riders through our stations. I'm honored that Cubic chose PATCO for this program and believe that the information gained here will serve as the foundation for transit payment systems well into the future."
As of October 21, PATCO riders will no longer be able to use the Wave & Pay ANYWHERE Card at PATCO fare gates and parking lots. However, they will still be able to use the FREEDOM Card, PATCO's contactless smart card that has been in use since 2007 in the smart card system designed and integrated by Cubic. The FREEDOM card can be purchased at any PATCO vending machine with cash, debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express). The FREEDOM card works for both trains and parking.