It’s all aboard the smartphone craze for New Jersey Transit. The nation’s third-largest public transit service will become the nation’s first public transportation agency to partner with Google Wallet (a new service that allows customers to use their smartphones to pay for goods at retailers).
The public-private partnership, which was developed at no cost to NJ Transit, will allow passengers to wave their smartphone in front of ticketing booths rather than digging for cash or credit cards as they rush to catch their trains.
“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,” said Stephanie Tilenius, vice president of commerce at Google, in the official statement.
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To start, the service will only be available at New York’s Penn Station, Newark Airport’s Air Train Station and on select bus routes. Google Wallet, announced in early August, is currently available only on Sprint’s Nexus S 4G phone and supports Citi Mastercard credit cards and a Google prepaid card.
“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.”
Even New Jersey Governor Chris Christie thinks it is a unique partnership for the state, as he announced the partnership Wednesday morning.
“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.”