Santa Barbara gets fare capped open loop contactless ticketing as California rollout expands

Clean Air Express contactless open loop payment
OPEN LOOP: Clean Air Express passengers can tap to pay with a contactless card or a mobile wallet

Passengers travelling on express bus services in the Santa Barbara region of the US state of California can now pay their fares by tapping an on-board payment reader with their contactless debit, credit, prepaid card or mobile wallet.

The open loop contactless ticketing system also supports daily and monthly fare capping and is being piloted on long-distance commuter services run by Clean Air Express as well as on two bus routes operated by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (SBMTD) — the Goleta Express and UCSB Express.

The six-month pilot is the latest to be launched with support from the California Integrated Travel Project (Cal-ITP), which is rolling out contactless ticketing across the whole of California’s public transit system.

The first Cal-ITP contactless ticketing pilot was launched on buses operated by Monterey-Salinas Transit in May and the project is also trialling the system on light rail services operated by Sacramento Regional Transit.

“When you are ready to ride, just board a Clean Air Express bus and tap your contactless-enabled card or smart device onto the payment reader,” Clean Air Express explains.

“During the six-month demonstration, the Clean Air Express plans to accept any Visa or Mastercard that has the contactless symbol on it or any Visa or Mastercard placed into a mobile wallet on your smart device for tapping to pay the fare as you board the Clean Air Express.

“The mobile wallets that Clean Air Express plans to accept are Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and Fitbit Pay.”

A short video shows the system in operation.

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