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Transportation Smart Cards

Programs that use contactless smart cards (credit card sized plastic cards with an embedded antenna and computer chip) that people can use to pay for subway, light rail, bus, bus rapid transit, paratransit and ferry services, as well as fares and tolls on other transportation systems. Some electronic toll transponders for highway toll collection also accept smart cards. Smart card systems have data communications and data processing capabilities that are superior to traditional ticketing, magnetic stripe and token-based systems. They permit fare systems to collect and share data and facilitate projects such as integrating multiple transit operators under a regional fare clearinghouse, or supporting human service operations where ride tracking, eligibility and billing data is shared and stored. In addition, the contactless capability of smart cards demands much less manual dexterity than tokens and magnetic-stripe farecards, making them easier for some passengers to use. Transportation smart card systems may be used in the future as the basis for integrated transit fare, parking payment and highway toll collection.

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