Technology moves fast. Especially for transit smart card technology. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is looking to create a solution for cab rides and parking in the city, while Chicago is looking for other smart card solutions. It wasn’t that long ago that Clipper card was invented to combine BART, Muni, Caltrain, AC Transit and Golden Gate ferries in San Francisco. Now you can even look forward to using a card to pay for your taxi ride home from the airport.
Clipper card, overseen by the regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, hasn’t been programmed for payment on parking meters and cab rides. This is where the SFMTA is stepping in. They want to be able to combine these types of payment, especially for night-time commuters. However, it will all come with time. According to the SFGate, this new universal card could either supplant or supplement the Clipper card.
So far, The Metropolitan Transportation Commission hasn’t said anything about these new developments. Yet, it looks like they might have some future competition. The SFMTA’s two-year plan will start with just parking and cab rides, but eventually could include Muni buses, streetcars and cable cars, creating a full range of transportation payment options for inner city commuters.
San Francisco isn’t the only city that’s looking to create these types of solutions either. Chicago is jumping on the bandwagon as well. According to the Chicago Tribune, the city is moving towards a system where riders can pay their fare through their credit or debit card. These types of payment solutions are actually already in place in Asia and Europe.
Although the U.S. is trailing behind, public transportation authorities are pushing for these smart card payment systems to move forward. New payment plans should be available in Chicago and San Francisco by 2013.
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