Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council Gears Up for Fare Collection

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council announced two new white papers for transit agencies planning to upgrade their fare collection systems. It also announced new officers and a steering committee for 2010.

"Transit agencies across the U.S. are currently upgrading or planning to upgrade their fare collection systems, which is a significant investment. There are many options they have to consider, from the technologies available to the payment approaches to the costs of implementation," said Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority, and Chair of the Transportation Council. "The Transportation Council has taken the initiative to provide resources, like white papers that can assist transit agencies in making these critical decisions and building a solid, long-term strategy for their transit systems."

The first white paper, "Planning for New Fare Payment and Collection Systems: Cost Considerations and Procurement Guidelines," answers the question: "What are the cost implications associated with fare payment projects?" The white paper presents a conventional approach for planning, conducting a cost analysis, and procuring a new fare payment system or upgrading an existing system. It also provides a Microsoft Excel-based cost model that allows users to input an agency's current fare payment and fare collection costs and compare them to the costs for proposed alternative systems.

Council members involved in the development of this white paper included: ACS, A Xerox Company; Booz Allen Hamilton; Cubic; The Garback Group; Giesecke & Devrient; INSIDE Contactless; JPMorgan Chase; Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).

The second white paper, "A Guide to Prepaid Cards for Transit Agencies," provides an overview of the prepaid card industry and the products available, including network-branded prepaid cards. It provides guidance for transit agencies evaluating the feasibility and benefits of using prepaid cards as one element of a fare collection system that includes open loop payment cards.

Council members involved in the development of this white paper included: ACS, A Xerox Company; Connexum Consulting, LLC; Cubic; Discover Financial Services; First Data Corporation; Giesecke & Devrient; JPMorgan Chase; MasterCard Worldwide; MTA New York City Transit; Scheidt & Bachmann; SEPTA; Thales; Utah Transit Authority.

"Because the Transportation Council is made up of experts and stakeholders in the transportation industry, they have the expertise to be able to address the broad range of transit agencies' questions and concerns in the form of extremely valuable, useful tools and publications," said Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director of the Smart Card Alliance. "The industry seems to agree; the council had more than 6,000 downloads of their publications this past year."

The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is made up of more than 130 individuals from 59 organizations, including transit agencies, payment brands, financial services providers and technology and service providers.

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