From the end of next year passengers on the Paris Metro, local trains and the region's buses will begin to be able to buy their tickets and get them validated using an NFC phone.
The operators of the buses, local trains and underground services in Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region — Optile, SNCF Transilien and RATP — have committed, through their governing body the STIF (Syndicat des transports d'Ile de France), to being able to accept NFC mobile payments for transport tickets by the end of 2010.
Passengers will be able to use their phones or other NFC-enabled devices to buy tickets, to get information on their journey and to validate their travel.
"The first experiments conducted around transport began in 2006," says STIF. "Over the past year, work has been accelerating with the mobilisation and organisation of the various actors; the state, phone operators, transport authorities, future service operators, mobile manufacturers and smart card suppliers."
"The announcement today is a continuation of the technical tests conducted by the carriers and the specifications work conducted with other members of GART [Groupement des Autorités Responsables de Transport, the association of French transport authorities]," STIF explains.
"STIF will coordinate the Paris transport operators (Optile, RATP and SNCF Transilien) and the participating telecoms operators (Orange, Bouygues Telecom and SFR) to create this new service for users, which will meet the requirements of public transport (equal treatment of users, accessibility and continuity of service). STIF will also be particularly careful to preserve the anonymity of travel," promises the organisation.
During 2010, says STIF, its objective is to finalize, in consultation with all partners, a program for the implementation of NFC-based services in the Paris region ready to begin deployment from the end of the year.