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New York City subway will replace MetroCard with Apple Pay


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#21 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:31 AM

I wonder how someone who survives in IT fails reading comprehension?
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
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#22 jebr

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:38 AM

And jebr, NYC will have a designated NFC Card that will be vended by the MTA under a name yet to be determined, sort of like London has the Oyster Cards and Chicago has the Ventra Cards. So your concern is already being addressed. Afterall the guys who manage the Oyster system are the ones who have been chosen to deploy the system in New York.

 

Good to hear. I assumed that was probably the case, but I hate to assume. (I do see now that it was mentioned in passing in the 9to5 Mac article, though I probably didn't make the connection that the contactless cards were also through the MTA and not just bank contactless cards. The NY Times article helped as well; thanks.)

 

But yeah, NFC is an open technology that can be used with all sorts of devices, not just the iPhone. I certainly get annoyed by Apple when it tries to use proprietary technology, but on the wireless front they've seemed to do well in adopting open standards (NFC for payments and Qi for charging.)



#23 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:38 AM

Coming from a IT background going back to 1975 I will not own or even permit Apple products in my house.......I know iphone users think there are no other phones.....but there are.others......So.....again, I am SOL???


Interesting admission. So do you pat visitors down and remove any Apple contraband before they can enter your house? Or do you simply kick them off your lawn and down the street? You say you come from an IT background but your post sounds more like an emotional reaction to broad social trends.

 

There is a huge population that assume 'iphone' is like 'Jell-o'.....a wireless device is a iphone......work with the public for a while and see for yourself.


There is an even bigger population that uses Android instead of Apple. Many of those users seem to equate smart devices with Google. Each group is large enough to ensure they'll both be supported. Not sure where you're going with this other than you seem to have some sort of aversion to Apple products/users.

 

I still do not see the bias toward iphone weather it's today or in 10 years. Chances are in 10 years they may be unknown to the general public....things change that fast. Blockbuster went from zero to 10K stores to 11 stores is less than 15 years....it can happen to anyone.


Blockbuster was disliked by many but it didn't simply die on its own. The fundamental concept on which it was based (temporary rental of physical media) was undermined and eventually strangled to death by changes in the marketplace. Changes that were accelerated by an explosion of online media content. Pioneered by products such as iTunes. Released by Apple. No company is immune to bad management or severe market changes, but it's hard to imagine a scenario where smart phones/tablets/watches simply vanish from public consciousness over the next few years in the same way rental DVD's did a few years ago.


Edited by Devil's Advocate, 24 October 2017 - 11:42 AM.

I used to be with ‘it,’ but then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now what I’m with isn’t ‘it,’ and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary.


#24 jis

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:56 AM

Other than the possibility that Smartphones may evolve to look more and more like Star Trek Tricorders, I don't really see them going away in a decade. As DA correctly states Blockbuster's business model was undermined my technical advances and they were unable or unwilling to adapt to changes. Of course that could happen to anyone. But it would be a huge surprise if that anyone includes Apple or Google or Microsoft for that matter, in the coming decade.
 
Frankly, I don't understand the technical basis for the hostility towards Apple. Seems an emotional rather than a technical response.
 

But yeah, NFC is an open technology that can be used with all sorts of devices, not just the iPhone. I certainly get annoyed by Apple when it tries to use proprietary technology, but on the wireless front they've seemed to do well in adopting open standards (NFC for payments and Qi for charging.)

I am glad Apple chose Qi, since I have been using Qi with my iPhone 6+ using a Qi Case. At least all those Qi pads lying around at various places in my house and the Qi pad in my car will all continue to be useful. :)

But all this is getting a bit off topic.
 
Meanwhile as expected, a press release has come out of the Android camp on the subject too...
 
https://www.androidc...yc-subways-2020


Edited by jis, 24 October 2017 - 02:18 PM.


#25 NorthShore

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:10 PM

Beggar at the subway station in 2024:

"My phone battery is dead. Would you pay my fare with your iPhone?"

In reality, just like now, they will be picking up discarded limited use prepaid cards hoping that there is enough left on them for one ride ;)

Oh, you obviously need to spend more time in Chicago, where it is quite common for people to just boldly ask other riders to pass them through the turnstile.

"My battery died" will, surely, both become a new excuse to ask by beggars, as well as a reality among those who can't exist without their phones.

Delhi Metro has these neat little plastic coin like things with an embedded RFID, which can be purchased for a single ride. You put them in a slot like a token. That is what many people who do not have NFC devices or cards, use for paying fares. If people being unable to obtain and keep an NFC smart card like Ventra is a problem, there are other known solutions.


That makes a lot of sense, and actually can help with social service groups, for instance, which like to have the ability to offer low income clients car fare.
 

What is uniquely different in the smart card based systems though are the convenience features like seamless transfers, automatic maxing out for a day and limiting charges to the day pass amount, even when travel spans multiple fare zones and fares are time and distance based (e.g. London's Oyster Card system) etc. which were simply not doable with previous technology


This presumes that the transit system wants to allow transfers, day limits, etc.

#26 jis

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:25 PM

All the systems that I have had the pleasure of using smart NFC cards at seem to provide these facilities. Of course we all know New York can be rather exceptional ;)

 

A more relevant question is will the MTA system interoperate with the systems adopted by adjacent transit organizations?

 

As far as I can tell there should be no problem interoperating with the NFC based system that has been adopted by PATH. In the past PATH has stated that it is one of their goals to interoperate with the MTA system.

 

As for NJT, we don't yet know exactly what system, if any, they intend to evolve to.

 

A bigger issue IMHO is rationalization of fares and fare zones in the NY area, which is an incoherent mess right now, and given the dysfunction of governance of everything in the New York area, it seems highly unlikely that anything will change in that area in the foreseeable future.


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Edited by jis, 25 October 2017 - 09:57 AM.


#27 NorthShore

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 03:10 PM

All the systems that I have had the pleasure of using smart NFC cards at seem to provide these facilities. Of course we all know New York can be rather exceptional ;)

Again, not CTA.

A flaw which those in the know (though not the average rider who neither knows any better nor understands systems with more reasonable policies worldwide) critique periodically, usually to dismissive, deaf ears.

Edited by NorthShore, 04 November 2017 - 03:11 PM.


#28 jebr

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 03:47 PM

MSP's Metro Transit is also the same way on the day pass thing - the card will not max out at the day pass limit, and so if you know you're going to be doing a lot of traveling in a day and can buy a day pass you're better off doing so.

 

I sort of forgave this limitation in the era of a more expensive day pass (albeit a 24-hour pass) and the 10% additional fare load with stored value, but with the removal of that benefit and the introduction of a "day pass" (that expires at 2 AM the next day) that is simply 2x a one-way fare, it's a little bit of a pain point.

 

Of course, Metro Transit is also somewhat unique in that there's no real penalty for paying cash (you'll still get a paper transfer that expires in 2.5 hours, just like with the Go-To Card,) so the seamless transfer benefit is there with either cash or card. (The only one that becomes a bit problematic is if you're doing local to express/Northstar, but I think you can buy up to those as needed at the TVMs or on the bus.)



#29 jis

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 05:27 PM

Most American transit systems are thoroughly borked. When it is a smartcard based system why should anyone have to buy anything special? They should just have to tap away and the system should automatically collect from them the lowest legal fare, and that should be it. Learn from Oyster instead of inventing each ones own Rube Goldberg schemes.


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#30 Green Maned Lion

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 06:04 PM

You know better.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
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#31 jebr

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:54 AM

Most American transit systems are thoroughly borked. When it is a smartcard based system why should anyone have to buy anything special? They should just have to tap away and the system should automatically collect from them the lowest legal fare, and that should be it. Learn from Oyster instead of inventing each ones own Rube Goldberg schemes.


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Since I've already expressed my frustration with the system in MSP, I'll also offer a potential counterargument as to why it isn't happening in MSP.

 

The MSP system, according to Wikipedia, was contracted out for a desired contactless launch in 2003. While delays made it so full public launch wasn't until 2007, any design in 2003 would likely find any sort of real-time updating for buses cost-prohibitive. As far as I can tell, the system is set up in such a way so that the buses are essentially "off-line" until they get into the garage at the end of their routes; thus, any data has to be stored either on the card itself or on some sort of data source on the bus itself. For the most part, the cards become the "storage medium" for fare data, with the buses simply storing transactions, updating the card in real time, and updating the server at the end of the day (and getting any fare updates to load onto cards.) With extremely limited storage on the card itself and with five different pass structures at launch time (24-hour pass, 7-day pass, 31-day pass for local non-rush hour, 31-day pass for local rush-hour and express non-rush, and 31 day pass for express rush-hour) it was likely considered technically unfeasible.

 

That base system, as far as I can tell, is still used today. The readers have all been updated to what appears to be the same style as CTA's since the original readers hit end-of-life, though there are many people who still have older cards and I doubt they rebuilt the underlying system to update in real-time (as far as I can tell they still update only once they get back to the garage, despite most buses having a data link now to provide wi-fi to passengers!) I don't know what it would take to rebuild that system, but hopefully whenever that day comes they'll put in a system that allows automatic pass generation once certain fare points are hit. With real-time connection to a main server that can easily store transactions and do those calculations it shouldn't be too difficult to implement that if the will is there.

 

Which reminds me, I really should file a formal suggestion/complaint on their website regarding this...






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