Pay for the Subway With Your iPhone

Pilot program enables commuters to buy fares with a swipe

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images/Spencer Platt
    Forget that. Try the iPhone!

    Starting this week, New Yorkers have a less burdensome option for paying for subway, train and bus tickets. Just use your iPhone.

    As part of a pilot program with Visa's payWave initiative, commuters can simply wave their payWave-enabled phones in front of a sensor to complete a seamless, secure transaction rather than rummage for crumpled bills or cards that always appear to be hiding when you need them. NJ Transit, NYC Transit and the Port Authority of New York are participating in the venture, which officially rolled out in the city this week.

    Anyone with a payWave-enabled phone can also use it to pay for fares with more than 10,000 participating city taxicabs.

    Aside from saving commuters time, the program also helps minimize operational costs for transit handlers by reducing the amount of cash they have to manage.

    The pilot program uses Visa payWave technology, which is based on a small electronic chip embedded in a mobile phone or payment card that communicates securely with contactless readers at the fare gate and on the bus. In the case of the iPhone, Visa outfits the device with a special case that includes the memory card for easy swiping.