The Sacramento Regional Transit District’s roll-out follows the successful launch of the state’s first contactless payments demo on Monterey-Salinas Transit buses in May.
Sacramento Regional Transit District’s (SacRT) light rail network claims it is the first in California to accept open-loop contactless payments.
The roll-out, in collaboration with CalSTA’s and Caltrans’ California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP), began on the Green Line in late June and has been extended across all light rail trains.
For this demonstration, transit-focused payment service provider Littlepay is handling payment processing at the heart of an end-to-end solution.
Riders using SacRT’s light rail trains can now tap to pay for light rail fares with a contactless credit, debit, prepaid card or digital wallet. There’s no need to stand in line to buy a ticket or reload a fare pass; they can just tap a card reader as they board.
In less than one second, a green check mark will indicate their card has been validated for fare payment and they can take a seat.
“We are always looking for ways to use innovative technology to make using transit easier and more convenient for the community,” said Henry Li, general manager and CEO, SacRT.
“These devices allow someone to use the same form of payment for their light rail ride and their coffee, simply tap and ride.”
“The series of demonstrations we are involved in will provide proof points of the positive impact of open-loop contactless systems”
In this instance, card validation technology is supplied by SC Soft and Feig; while payments management platform Cybersource, a Visa solution, provides a connection to Elavon US for acquiring services.
According to the partners, the modular system enables SacRT and Cal-ITP to roll-out a tap-to-pay solution quickly and cost-effectively without complex integration with existing legacy closed loop systems.
“We’re excited to be on the team that’s bringing payment innovation to transit agencies and riders in California,” added Amin Shayan, CEO of Littlepay.
“The series of demonstrations we are involved in will provide proof points of the positive impact of open-loop contactless systems. Not only do they provide cost efficiency for transit agencies, they also improve passenger experience.”
Going forward, the agency said it is looking into more ways to bring value to riders using the contactless system, such as discount fare options. Simple fares and automatic fare caps are compelling benefits of tap-to-pay transit, bringing riders a hassle-free payment experience with guaranteed best-price fares.
The California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) are supporting the demos through their California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP) initiative.
Cal-ITP aims to make it easier to use public transportation by improving trip planning and simplifying payments across transit modes and services in the state. Easy-to-use contactless payment options are vital to reaching these goals.
The SacRT rollout follows the successful launch of the state’s first contactless payments demo on Monterey-Salinas Transit buses in May. Two further demos are running in Santa Barbara, on the Clean Air Express, Santa Barbara County Association of Governments’ (SBCAG) commuter bus service, and on buses operated by Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (SBMTD).