fare card

What is an RFID chip?

RFID (www.rfidfr.org) is short for Radio Frequency IDentification. These microchips are fitted with an antenna and are often known as "tags." When an object fitted with one of these tags is in proximity to an RFID reader, the latter connects with the chip using electromagnetic waves. Depending on the nature of the signal (reading content, supplying new information, etc.) the chip responds, again using electromagnetic waves.


What is a “smart” transit card?

A smart transit card is a transport payment card that contains a small computer chip and software, called a contactless smart card. The smart card keeps track of the value of your card either in terms of a credit or as a monthly, annual subscription. The smart card is "contactless," meaning you do not have to insert your card into a reader in order to pay your bus or subway fare. Instead, you hold your card close to a payment reader on the turnstile or fare box and your fare is paid.

Can I use my transit card or smart transit card for transportation systems other than in my city?

You can only use your smart transit card in another city or country if the transport operators use the same type of technology in their cards and turnstiles and also have a business agreement with the other transport operator. For example, in London the Oyster transport card can be used both on the underground railway and some national rail lines, which are controlled by different organizations.

What is a transit card?

A transit card is the card you use for public transportation (such as the subway or bus in your city).  The card usually has a magnetic stripe or a chip, and contains a stored prepaid value for you to use when you go through the turnstile or board.  The purpose of a transit card is to make it faster and more convenient for you to use mass transit.

Is my contactless smart transit card the same as my contactless credit or debit card?

Your smart transit card uses contactless smart card technology that is unique for transit fare applications and differs from your contactless credit or debit card from American Express, Discover Network, MasterCard or Visa.  However, MTA, New York City Transit and Utah Transit Authority are currently both testing  contactless credit or debit cards to pay for fares directly. 
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