PATCO begins “wave and pay” trial run

Starting today PATCO Riders can start using a new type of smartcard by just waving it at the turnstile.

For the first six months, the pilot program will be restricted to a prepaid Visa card that will be made available by PATCO. A special chip inside the cards allows users to tap them on the turnstile instead of sliding them through a typical card reader.

PATCO’s Cheryl Spicer says the cards are designed specifically for people who don’t use banks or have credit cards.

“This is affording the opportunity for the unbanked to get on board and to be able to use the debit card instead of buying their tickets,” said Spicer. “A lot of the unbanked pay cash to buy their tickets in our stations and this will help us move away from cash.”

Spicer says after six months, anyone with a credit card containing the special chip will get to use the “Wave and Pay” system. Spicer says after the trial run, PATCO will decide whether to keep the system.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.