NFC Times Exclusive – The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has issued a request for proposal with plans to launch an NFC pilot this year followed later by a rollout, putting the authority’s Mifare-based fare-collection application mainly on Android NFC phones.
Unlike transit agencies in such cities as Chicago, London, Philadelphia and New York, which have enabled open-loop fare collection or plan to do so, the LA Metro appears to be sticking with its closed-loop Mifare technology, at least for now. It seeks to enable mobile payments to extend the reach of the authority’s TAP contactless fare cards. UPDATE: But with the closing of the Softcard joint venture in March of 2015, and with it the prospect for continued large-scale rollouts of NFC SIMs, LA Metro later dropped the project. END UPDATE.
LA Metro issued a request for proposal in mid-January, calling for a two-phase trial. The first phase would enable customers to load their TAP contactless fare cards by tapping them on an NFC phone–with the phone acting as a sort of a “virtual TAP vending machine.”