NJ Transit now accepts Google Wallet for NFC tickets
Posted by Seth PlanckOctober 19th, 2011 at 4:37 PM Filed Under Latest News
NJ Transit now accepts Google Wallet and commuters can now buy NFC tickets with their NFC phones
Tickets are so passé and we are not the only ones who think so, as NJ Transit announces that you can now pay for a ride with Google Wallet, and all you need to add is an NFC phone to the mix. Well, not any old NFC phone. At the moment it has to be the Nexus S 4G on Sprint. But with the advent of Ice Cream Sandwich and the coming of the Galaxy Nexus there are sure to be other options real soon.
NJ Transit commuters can now use their NFC phones to pay for transportation tickets as they tap and pay at what the company calls “select locations.”
Luckily enough Governor Chris Christie has totally, completely, maybe made up his mind to not run for President long enough to announce the partnership between Google Wallet and NJ Transit.
“Our partnership with Google demonstrates that NJ TRANSIT and the State are at the forefront of emerging technology, paving the way for further exploration of new customer service technologies,” said Governor Christie. “I’m proud that New Jersey’s public transportation system is the very first public transportation agency to partner with Google Wallet, joining thousands of retailers accepting Wallet across the nation.”
Google pays its way into a partnership with NJ Transit for Google Wallet acceptance
The public-private partnership with Google Inc. was developed at no cost to NJ Transit, which tells us that Google Wallet was keen to get the NJ Transit on board. Google has been going to great lengths to press their timing advantage over Isis even though they only have one NFC phone in the market right now.
“We are putting the latest technology to work for our customers and improve the overall customer experience, which is one of the areas of focus of our Scorecard initiative,” said NJ Transit Executive Director, James Weinstein. “By partnering with Google, we are leading the industry with emerging technologies that will streamline the way customers buy their transportation tickets.”
Gaining critical mass before Isis and its three mobile networks launch is critical for Google Wallet.
“Transit has been a common element of every major successful NFC effort globally and is a critical component of Google Wallet’s success,” said Stephanie Tilenius, Vice President of Commerce at Google. “Transit is the fastest way to accelerate adoption and reach usage density in major urban centers by habituating the behavior of tapping and paying with phones, and we’re excited to launch our transit effort here with NJ TRANSIT.”
If you are wondering why Google wants its Google Wallet used on the NJ Transit consider some of these facts. NJ Transit is the nation’s largest statewide public transportation system providing more than 895,000 weekday trips on 240 bus routes. It has three light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines. It is the third largest transit system in the country with 165 rail stations, 60 light rail stations and more than 19,000 bus stops linking major points in New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
Even if a small percentage of travelers adopt Google Wallet, the figures are large enough for Google to pay to play. With the Galaxy Nexus due to launch next month using Google Wallet has just got a lot more appealing, and for 895,000 commuters a day could become more frictionless.
If you use NJ transit and want to know if you can use Google Wallet on your trip, here are the current enabled points. Firstly, you can use Google Wallet at New York Penn Station ticket vending machines and ticket windows. There is also Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Station (AirTrain), on bus route nos. 6, 43, 80, 81, 87, and 120, and on some buses on the 126 line.
This is a major win for Google Wallet and the folks over at Isis will be watching all of the announcements Google is making closely.