PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Ride the rails, buy a cup of coffee, all with the wave of your hand. Tap and go technology has been around for several years now, but PATCO is now hoping to simplifying things. 3 On Your Side consumer reporter Jim Donovan is here to explain.

Today PATCO kicked off a twelve month pilot program, the first in the world where riders can use a transit branded pre-paid Visa card to pay for both their transit and retail purchases. (see related story)

Most PATCO commuters use a transit card to pay for their train fare and a debit card to pay for everything else.

But beginning today the “PATCO wave and pay anywhere card” is one card that does it all.

“Not only can you use the card for transit but you can also use it at wherever a visa debit card is accepted,” said Freddie Fuller with Cubic Transportation Systems.

So you can use it for your daily commute and daily coffee too.

“You can load it at a kiosk, you can load it online at home, you can load it at the freedom card services center at the Broadway station and you can also have your paychecks deposited onto the card,” said Fuller.

For the next week service representatives will be available during the night time commute to answer questions at PATCO stations.

The card isn’t replacing PATCO’s popular Freedom Card, it’s just another option to make commuting more convenient.

“It’s a different card, different technology. You can not use the Freedom Card in a retail market. You can use wave and pay card in a retail market,” said Kathleen Imperatore with the Delaware River Port Authority and PATCO.

While there is no enrollment fee to take part in this trial program, and you don’t have to pay a fee when you buy something, there are some fees associated with ATM withdrawals and bill paying options.


Reported by Jim Donovan, CBS 3

Top Content On CBSPhilly

Watch & Listen LIVE