updated 03:40 pm EDT, Wed October 19, 2011
Tapping now allowed at 2 stations and on bus lines
Google has teamed up with the NJ Transit to let its riders pay for fares using Google Wallet and NFC "tap to pay" technology. At launch, the service will be available at two stations and on a few bus lines. Also initially, riders will only be able to pay with Citigroup MasterCard, as well as Google's own prepaid virtual card.
The deal makes NJ Transit the first public transit system to allow Google Wallet payments. Riders will be able pay at Penn Station in New York City, the Newark Liberty International Airport Rail Station, and on seven bus routes.
Google announced Google Wallet in May, and went live in September. Currently, Google Wallet is compatible only with Nexus S 4G smartphones, which operate only on Sprint. Google plans to expand support to other Android-based NFC equipped phones in the near future.
Google has been expanding the acceptance and user-friendliness of Google Wallet. Earlier this week, the company announced it had added Chevron gas stations, D'Agostino, Faber News Now, and Gristedes Supermarkets to its list of participating retailers. It also improved the interface so discounts and rewards are now handled simultaneously with purchase transaction instead of requiring extra taps.