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Google Pay rolling out to San Francisco rail users soon

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Google Pay logo is seen on an android mobile phone

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Android users will soon be able to use their phones to pay for transit cards in cities such as San Francisco after Cubic Transportation Systems signed an agreement with Google Pay, the search giant’s contactless payment system, on Monday.

Cubic says Bay Area passengers will be able to “add transit cards to Google Pay, securely reload funds and purchase tickets directly from their mobile device — eliminating the need for a physical transit card.” It didn’t give a timeframe for the rollout.

The new Google Pay agreement also extends the capabilities of current systems in use in cities such as New York, Miami and London. 

“Working with Cubic will help us simplify the commute for Google Pay users in several major transit systems — including support for Clipper cards in the San Francisco Bay Area,” said Ambarish Kenghe, director of product management for Google Pay. 

Clipper Cards are contactless cards currently in use on on all major Bay Area transit systems, including BART. 

New York, meanwhile, is in the process of rolling out the OMNY system, but transit cards won’t be available until “every subway station, bus route and the Staten Island Railway is outfitted with this new technology,” according to the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. It expects that to happen by 2023.

Cubic rolled out contactless payments in New York to Apple Pay and then Google Pay users on a per-ride basis earlier this year. The OMNY system currently operates on the 4, 5 and 6 trains between 42nd St and Barclays Center.


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