Last week mobile giants AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon launched a joint mobile payment pilot program in Salt Lake City under the name Isis. As part of the launch and to raise awareness, Isis will offer free rides on bus, TRAX and FrontRunner for anyone using mobile payment now through Jan. 31, 2013.
To take advantage of the perk, riders will need to have a phone with a near field communication (NFC) chip and tap on and off at one of the agency’s electronic fare readers.
UTA’s open payment electronic fare collection system has been in place since January 2009. Riders in the system are able to pay for their trip on transit using mobile payment (like Isis, or Google Wallet), as well as contactless credit cards (prepaid or banked). A system that helped make Salt Lake City an ideal location to launch the Isis mobile wallet.
“UTA is proud to have been a leader in developing open payment solutions for transit,” UTA General Manager Mike Allegra said. ”We will continue to invest in technologies that enhance or improve the customer experience.”
Isis Enabled Mobile Devices
Currently Isis partners offer the service on the following phones: HTC Incredible 4G, Motorola Razr HD, Motorola Razr MAXX HD, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Relay S 4G, HTC One X, Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate, LG Escape and the Samsung Rugby Pro.
ISIS Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Hughes said, “With as many as 20 Isis Ready handsets headed to market by year end, we are experiencing an unprecedented level of support for NFC and consumer choice.”
The system will work only with Android phones, which are based on the Google operating system. However, Isis plans to offer for sale to iPhone users an add-on case ($40-$50) with a chip installed in the near future.
How is Payment Verified?
Tap a contactless credit/debit card or mobile payment device to the contactless logo on a reader. The system automatically recognizes the type of card/device and responds accordingly. The following are possible reader responses:
- Valid: a green light and acceptance message on the reader means your card/device has been accepted as a valid form of fare payment. Welcome aboard!
- Not valid: a red light means your card/device is invalid or has been disabled. Check the reader display for more information. If your card/device is invalid, you must pay your fare using another payment method such as cash. If your card has been disabled, contact the card issuer to resolve the issue.
How will Charges Show Up?
While the Isis promotion is in place (through Jan. 31, 2013), you will not see any charges to your linked card. After the promotional period, charges will show up on your regular statement. If your card is erroneously charged during the promotion, please contact UTA customer service 801-287-2667 to have the charge reversed.
How are Electronic Fares Enforced?
For this promotional fare to be valid, riders do need to tap and verify payment with a green light.
- Bus: As you board, the operator will receive a validation message from the reader just as you do and allow you to board. The operator will allow you to board if your card/device gets a green light. If your card/device gets a red light (or no response), the operator will ask you to please provide an alternate form of fare payment.
- TRAX and FrontRunner: UTA transit officers carry a small electronic inspection unit. Inspectors will ask patrons to show proof of fare (e.g. “tickets please”). When you are asked to show proof of fare, simply produce the contactless card/device you used to pay. The officer will electronically inspect your card/device to determine whether it was recently tapped or not. If there is no electronic record of the tap, then the officer could issue a citation for failure to provide proof of payment.