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APTA, forum agree to promote near field communication technologies

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and the NFC Forum today announced a memorandum of understanding aimed at enabling the two organizations to educate the transit industry on near field communication (NFC) technologies.

NFC has a broad range of uses, including public transit fare collection. In fare collection, NFC technology provides a wireless connection between mobile devices and wireless readers, such as those seen in gated fare collection systems, APTA officials said in a press release.

Through the agreement, APTA and the NFC Forum will work on joint programs, including training courses, white papers, case study analyses, merchant and transportation customer research, webcasts and hosted events or trade shows.

APTA will work with the NFC Forum's Transport Special Interest Group to define approaches for using NFC technology to address issues such as supporting passenger information systems, ticketing and proof of payment fares. Additionally, APTA will participate in global workshops led by the group.

"NFC will improve the passenger experience by linking passengers with mobile phones and public transit fare payment, and by increasing the opportunities to share digital content to improve the transit passenger convenience," said APTA President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Melaniphy.

The use of NFC technology for public transit ticketing is growing, APTA officials said. Recently, New York state officials announced a plan to support NFC payments for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

In 2004, the NFC Forum was launched as a nonprofit industry association by mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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