Lisbon Metro Olaias metro subway station Portugal
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Lisbon Metro Introduces ‘Tap and Ride’ in Effort to Bring Payment Infrastructure up to Speed

The Lisbon Metro in Portugal is introducing the ability for riders to ‘tap in’ using credit and debit cards, instead of having to pre-purchase tickets; bringing it up to speed with some of the world’s leading transport systems.

As part of a decision to modernise its transit payment infrastructure to increase the use of public transport in the city, Metro de Lisboa partnered with transit payments specialist Littlepay to enable riders to simply ‘tap and ride’.

Residents and tourists in Lisbon will now only be charged the “most advantageous” fare based on their journeys when they tap in using their everyday payment card. Previously, riders needed to plan ahead and calculate the best value ticket in advance or pre-purchase a day pass.

Littlepay is providing the core transit payment service, in partnership with ticketing hardware specialist Indra which will manage device validation. Cybersource, the payments and fraud management firm, and Unicre, a credit card service provider, will also take the lead for local acquiring services.

In preparation for this project, Littepay integrated with ticketing hardware specialist Indra, as their devices were the preferred option for the Metro de Lisboa. Littlepay offers a modular transit payments infrastructure, giving operators a wide choice of ‘pre-integrated’ devices, however, customers and coordinate new integrations if required.

‘Paving the way for more ticketing developments’
Paul Griffin
Paul Griffin, head of commercial at Littlepay

Paul Griffin, head of commercial at Littlepay, said: “Letting clients choose their own hardware is an integral part of what we do. If an authority wants us to integrate with a specific validator or card reader, we are more than happy to do it. This keeps us flexible and gives transit authorities the freedom to personalise the infrastructure according to their needs.”

The system covers Metro de Lisboa’s entire metro network – incorporating all of its 56 stations spanning four metro routes. With an annual ridership of 173 million, this move leads to a more seamless transit ticketing experience for locals, professionals and tourists.

Each individual trip will cost €1.50, with a daily cap of €6.50. For residents, business travellers and tourists, this eliminates the need to carry cash, download an app or visit a TVM to buy paper tickets, as well as making journeys easier.

Ariel Casado, regional manager of Western EU at Littlepay, also commented: “We’re confident the move to contactless EMV will improve the passenger experience across the metro network and even in the whole Lisbon transit, in the near future. It’s been a fantastic journey, working with the Metro de Lisboa team in paving the way for more ticketing developments.”

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