The California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP) began in 2018 with the aim of making travel simpler and more cost-effective for travellers and transit agencies throughout the State.
Three of the key Cal-ITP workstreams are focused on enabling contactless payments, automating customer discounts, and standardizing information for easy trip planning. In a typical year, these goals would be important for improving mobility. COVID-19 has enhanced its significance, particularly for attracting passengers back to transit post-pandemic and sustaining the financial health of transit agencies.
What we are doing
Our team is working alongside the client, peer consultants and private sector vendors to enable transit agencies in California to accept contactless credit/debit card payments. To prove the viability of this new payment architecture – a first in the State – a number of demonstration projects are planned for launch in 2021. Steer has been directly involved in coordinating the contractual, technical and operational parts of the demonstrations, and will continue to support the participating transit agencies following deployment.
Through public and private sector collaboration, the ability to use contactless credit/debit cards to pay for transit in California is becoming a reality. Cal-ITP is also leveraging the power of the State of California to simplify the procurement and contracting processes associated with contactless payments, including for hardware, software, and financial services agreements. The lessons learned here and through the demonstrations will pave the way for a wider roll-out of the technology and a safer and simpler way to travel in the future.
In May 2021, Monterey-Salinas Transit became the first public transportation agency in California to implement open-loop contactless fare payment technology on its buses.