Smartphone option for ticketless transport

The city of Rio de Janeiro has recently launched a pilot program allowing travellers to use their smartphones as a mobile wallet for public transportation, reports Techworld.  The phones are equipped with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology which allows safe, contactless data exchange between devices. 

A collaborative project between RioCard Tecnologia da Informação, Gemalto, Motorola Mobility and Brazil’s four leading mobile operators, the new technology means that commuters will have one less card to carry –travellers will only need to bring their NFC capable phone near the sensor to activate the data exchange. Apps are available which allow the user to check balances on the phone, and plans are underway for prepaid purchasing through the phone, as well.

Brazil has been utilising contactless technology successfully on its public transport system since 2003 with the RioCard transit pass.  With NFC technology becoming more widely utilised, this pilot represents a logical step for public transportation systems, with benefits for both the city and the traveller.  “It is a practical and fast system that brings freedom to the customer.” says Homero Quintaes, Director of RioCard TI.

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