NXP helps the Portland-Vancouver Metro region move intelligence to the cloud with the new Hop Fastpass™ Transit Card used on Buses, the Light Rail and Streetcars 9. October 2017

NXP is excited by the July launch of Portland’s new Hop Fastpass™ transit card, which recently recorded one million taps in the first 80 days. The new Hop Fastpass leverages our innovative MIFARE® DESFire® EV1 256B solution, which features a smaller memory footprint for creating an account-based transit system. TriMet, C-TRAN and Portland Streetcar’s Hop system marks the first of many deployments of our innovative MIFARE DESFire EV1 256B product technology by a major metropolis for contactless transit cards.

Designed for those who rely on a near real-time online infrastructure to take advantage of its smaller memory, MIFARE DESFire EV1 256B was specifically developed to provide transit operators implementing online account-based ticketing systems with an optimized version of our powerful contactless smart card technology. MIFARE DESFire EV1 256B combines bank-grade security and data integrity with affordability to enable transit operators to create payment and ticketing solutions that move the source of truth for ticket value to the cloud…as opposed to paper tickets or stored value transit cards which can be easily lost or stolen.

Moving to the cloud

The account-based system moves the intelligence from a gate, turnstile or card/paper-based interactions to a centralized database in the cloud. In addition to several benefits to riders, this means that transit operators no longer need to schedule or push updates to thousands of buses, trains or railway readers to add or change fare policies or service schedules. Instead, updates can be made to a backend system in the cloud, and readers can automatically receive updates as they communicate to the system—all of which dramatically simplifies the ongoing management of updates.

An improved rider experience

Hop FastPass is a perfect example of a successful MIFARE DESFire EV1 256B deployment that leverages the power of MIFARE DESFire EV1 in a smaller memory size for an account-based ticketing system which manages TriMet’s 100 million rides per year. The new Hop Fastpass is being used in the Portland-Vancouver metro region on TriMet buses; light rail and commuter rail trains; C-TRAN buses and the Vine bus rapid transit; and the Portland Streetcar to provide a far more convenient rider experience. Riders simply tap a Hop reader every time they board. The card can be purchased at Safeway, Fred Meyers, 7 Eleven and hundreds of other stores throughout the region. Even more, riders can quickly and easily put money on their Hop card anywhere, anytime, using the Hop Fastpass website, app or phone hotline.

The new system also makes it possible for riders to protect the value of the card by simply registering their card; if a card is lost or stolen, the rider can then transfer their ride value to a new card so they are never stuck without fare.

Moving transit ticketing to the cloud via account-based systems and MIFARE DESFire EV1 is a  win-win scenario for both transit operators and riders. Using MIFARE DESFire EV1 256B also makes it possible to easily integrate service provider applications into larger memory versions of MIFARE DESFire for collaboration with tourist cards, loyalty programs, university applications and much more. The latest generation in the MIFARE DESFire family, the MIFARE DESFire EV2 chip, enables these types of collaborations with its increased memory size for storing numerous different applications and/or adding new applications to cards that have already been deployed to end users in the market. This  positions transit systems who embrace MIFARE DESFire to connect to the Internet of Things in the cloud, and create multimodal transportation systems that integrate bike and car share services in the future. And, end users can interact with all of these services and applications via the cloud as well.

MIFARE DESFire EV2 is available from NXP Semiconductors and its licensees, as an applet via NXP services and it is also available on NXP’s SmartMX® secure smart card platform, used in contactless bank cards and governmental applications, as well as secure elements in NFC-enabled mobile devices to provide an unrivalled mobile ticketing experience for end users.

Proven for payment, government, and mobile use cases, the MIFARE DESFire family is based on global open standards with full compliance to the ISO 14443-A standard and NFC Tag Type 4 for the building  interoperable, reliable and scalable contactless smart card solutions on the market.

NXP is committed to continuous innovation that enable secure solutions like Portland’s Hop Fastpass, while helping to establish future-proof systems in smart, more connected cities.

About C-TRAN, Portland Streetcar and TriMet

C-TRAN operates regular route bus services within Clark County. C-TRAN also provides express commuter services between Clark County, WA and various points in Portland, OR, including downtown and other locations. Portland Streetcar operates three lines around 16-miles of track in Portland’s Central City. It has been in operation for 16 years and has serviced over 54 million riders since its inception. TriMet provides bus, light rail and commuter rail transit services in the Portland, Oregon metro area. It connects people with their community, while easing traffic congestion and reducing air pollution — making the Portland area a better place to live.

You can also read this story on the NXP blog.