It is hoped the simplicity of the payment method will play a vital role in promoting use of public transport in the Portuguese city, enabling more environmentally sustainable mobility.
The Portuguese city of Porto has introduced its first contactless transit ticketing system with passengers paying for fares with a contactless bank card or mobile wallet.
The tap-to-pay system is being launched on the airport metro line and STCP bus line 500 ahead of a wider roll-out and will mean travellers will no longer need to top up their Andante cards every time they want to use the tube line that supports them.
To implement the service, transit payment service provider Littlepay is partnering with Visa, Andante (intermodal ticketing system for the Metropolitan Area of Porto, managed by TIP), Unicre, Card4B and Cybersource, to launch the pilot project on Metro do Porto’s Linha Violeta (E) and STCP bus line 500.
With tap-to-pay, users can experience more seamless journeys, paying fares by tapping their contactless debit, credit, prepaid card, or payment-enabled device on payment readers. As well as eliminating the need to carry cash or queue for tickets, it also removes the pressure for visitors to understand the local ticketing system.
A roll-out of the system is planned to all metro lines and, by the end of 2022, contactless payments will be accepted across the entire STCP bus fleet. It is hoped the simplicity of this payment method will play a vital role in promoting use of public transport in Porto, enabling better, more environmentally sustainable mobility for residents and tourists.
A survey carried out in June 2021 showed that 44 per cent of public transit users believe they would use public transportation more often if contactless payments were available
Each trip on Metro do Porto will cost €2 and will be valid for 1h15m, regardless of the number of boardings within participating stations. On STCP, the fare for a single journey will be €2 and will be valid in one direction only between any two stops on the 500 line, not allowing transfers.
On both Metro and STCP, passengers using the system will enjoy automatic best-value fares and will never pay more than €7 (the cost of a daily ticket), no matter how many journeys they make during the day.
Littlepay APIs allow card payment readers, acquiring banks and back-offices to plug-and-play with its payment processing platform to handle the complete transaction flow. For this deployment, Littlepay is working in partnership with payments management platform Cybersource, a Visa solution, to facilitate a connection to Portugal’s largest acquiring bank. Unicre. System integrator Card4B is providing cEMV ticketing technology, using ACS payment readers, and a back office for fare calculations.
While the contactless project in Porto was planned before the pandemic, its arrival comes at a critical moment for post-pandemic recovery, supporting the role of public transportation in returning to business as usual, and providing a safe, easy payment experience for passengers seeking limited physical touchpoints.
A research survey carried out in June 2021 by C Space on behalf of Visa showed that 44 per cent of public transit users believe they would use public transportation more often if contactless payments were available and three-fifths of them strongly expect contactless to be available on public transport in the future.