The Washington DC Metro revealed its next-generation of fare gates last week, which include the option to pay for a ride with your smartphone or a credit card with a chip. The pilot program will launch in January at 10 Metrorail stations and six bus routes, with a plan to eventually install these gates at all locations.
The new fare gates will cost $184 million, but this will put the Metro system at the cutting edge of payment processing. Many of the gates currently being used are more than 30 years old.
Under the new technology, a user can walk through the gate and scan a smartphone or EMV credit card, and pay for the fare automatically. The gates pick up on the signal from the phone or credit card, and charge the user accordingly.
Metro would like to have 3,000 riders test the payment system when the new gates launch in January. Consumers can be part of the pilot program by applying on the Metro website.
If the pilot program is successful, full implementation of the new gates would start in 2017.