Elsewhere on the web

EMV: A Highly Profitable Investment

—  Revue Transport et routes - AQTR

By Gordon Teasdale 
Director, Fare Sales & Collection and Passenger Revenue 
Société de transport de Montréal

In the wake of requests from the two main issuers of credit cards (Visa and MasterCard) to have bank cards migrate to the EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) standard, Canadian financial institutions have had to gradually roll out chip cards to their customers over the last few years. These new chip-based credit cards now meet the EMV standard, an international security standard. Merchants offering their customers this method of payment will also have to comply with this new standard by December 31, 2015. Otherwise they will have to assume all costs related to any fraudulent bank card transactions.

That is the background for the interest taken by the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) in investigating the positive impacts of the application of this new security standard for the OPUS e-ticketing system upgrade deployed in 2010. The STM conducted comprehensive studies for close to a year, leading it to conclude that the anticipated benefits warranted the upgrade of all of its fare vending machines and reloading terminals. The fare vending machines allow customers to pay for their fares by cash or bank card, while the reloading terminals accept bank cards only.

Taking advantage of the summer season, generally a less busy time, the STM went ahead in 2012 with replacing the payment modules in equipment such as keypads and bank card readers. It also made changes to the existing software in the OPUS e-ticketing system, including an update of the middleware governing communications between the central OPUS system and the banking application used by the credit and debit card issuers. In so doing, the STM became one of the first corporations in Canada to meet the EMV standard.

An evolving collection system
Since it was first launched in 2008, the OPUS system has significantly reduced fraud associated with the collection of passenger revenue. However, payment by magnetic-stripe credit or debit card opened the door to a new kind of potential fraud. And indeed, the STM quickly realized that the use of fraudulent cards in the retail industry could pose a growing risk in terms of collection. Payment authorization via the banking network meant that not only the amount of the purchase was charged back to the STM, but also the administrative costs of the operation. While customers were mostly not affected financially, they too could suffer the consequences of fraud through the risk of credit or debit card cloning.

Accordingly, in 2009, the STM instituted various administrative and operational measures to limit the inherent risk, such as adding an anti-cloning device  to card readers and tracking transactions in real time, which it did in collaboration with its security and control department and with the banking institutions. In addition, a temporary agreement was signed by the STM, Visa and MasterCard to refuse foreign credit cards on its fare vending machines and reloading terminals. Together, these measures bore fruit: they helped substantially reduce losses due to credit card fraud, which was estimated at more than $1.5 million in 2008 and 2009, and nearly $500,000 in 2011 and 2012.

Taking the necessary steps to optimize security 
Bank card fraud is a well-known, widespread phenomenon in countries which have not yet adopted the chip card. In Canada, the issuing companies established a plan to roll out chip-based bank cards that provided for a sign-up period allowing merchants to install appropriate equipment for reading these new cards and bringing their bank payment modules into compliance. It should be noted that this new regulatory requirement was introduced because of fraud committed with chip credit cards processed using non-adapted equipment, the same way as magnetic-stripe credit cards. Since October 2010, the costs incurred by this type of fraud have been the merchants’ responsibility¾yet another argument encouraging retailers to comply with this new industry standard.

Direct benefits for countering fraud 
The project team was tasked with recommending an organizational, financial and technological position with a view to upgrading the OPUS system to incorporate the EMV standard. Once the project was approved, STM then had to acquire the necessary technological components and install them in its own equipment and that of the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT). Finally, the team needed to plan effective customer support during the rollout so that customers could familiarize themselves with the new equipment. One of the goals of the rollout was to inform customers of this change when they used a bank card to purchase a fare. The new procedure required them to leave the card in the reader and then enter their personal identification number (PIN), whereas the old method involved quickly swiping the bank card in the reader. The upgrade of the equipment installed in Montréal’s 68 metro stations was spread over a period of approximately three months.

The results were convincing in every respect: the rapid implementation of the Europay MasterCard Visa standard enabled the STM to reduce bank card fraud. Among the benefits[1] justifying the $3.75-million investment:

  • Retailers who already met the EVM standard found that operating their payment system was simplified.
  • The PIN chip card doesn’t only afford retailers with greater security, it also allows a host of possibilities in terms of advanced applications. For example, integrating innovative loyalty programs into existing payment cards offers retailers the opportunity to increase their market share while strengthening their brand.
  • A very large proportion of Canadians are concerned about the security of information on their cards. More than half of them are afraid of having personal data intercepted at the point of sale. Furthermore, one-third of Canadians believe that responsibility for credit card security falls on retailers.
  • Given that Asia, Latin America and the European Union have increasingly adopted EMV technology, a growing number of foreign consumers making transactions in Canada hold PIN chip cards. By offering public transit customers EMV technology for the purchase of transit fares, the STM aims to increase their sense of security.

This innovative project also promoted the integration of sound functionality in fare vending machines and reloading terminals, at a lower cost, while providing greater accessibility for blind and visually impaired people by allowing them:

·         To be guided by audio instructions, generated by voice synthesis, when buying transit fares.

  • To use a banking keypad with tactile touchpad in Braille.
  • To use the OPUS system by means of an interface offering greater navigational simplicity.
  • To better visually locate the functions displayed on the screen through the use of contrasts, which improve the equipment’s ergonomics.

Conclusive results: A choice that pays off 
Financially speaking, implementing the EMV standard demonstrates beyond all doubt that bank card fraud is declining sharply. In fact, the STM has reduced its losses to a few thousand dollars, compared with approximately $500,000 per year before implementation. This result is especially positive considering that, over the same period, the STM experienced a 25% increase in transit fare sales via fare vending machines and reloading terminals.

As anticipated, losses are practically nonexistent, confirming that investing in this solution before the scheduled deadline at the end of 2015 is a choice that pays off, both for customers and for the STM.



[1] The Implications of Chip & PIN Migration: A Canadian Retailer’s Perspective, J.C. Williams Group, January 2007

STM: From the Ice Age to World-Class Service

—  Mass Transit
In the past, to be a manager at Société de transport de Montréal, you had to be an engineer. And Chief Executive Officer Carl Desrosiers, an engineer himself, said that’s not necessarily a good thing. He said STM of the past was more focused on the technology while today, due in part to benchmarking and more customer interaction, there has been a shift in how it operates.

La STM s’inspire de ses semblables (French only)

—  Métro
Dans le réseau de la Société de transport de Montréal (STM), il y a un peu de tous les réseaux de transport en commun du monde entier. Depuis plus d’une dizaine d’années, le STM profite du balisage international réalisé par le Collège impérial de Londres. Elle débourse près 40 000$ par année pour avoir accès à ce partage d’informations.

La STM fait valoir ses impacts économiques (French only)

—  La Presse
Après avoir fait valoir ses impacts environnementaux et sociaux, la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) a décidé de faire valoir ses impacts économiques. Elle a ainsi voulu rappeler, dans le contexte électoral actuel, l'importance du transport en commun.

Use of Public Transit in U.S. Reaches Highest Level Since 1956, Advocates Report

—  The New York Times
More Americans used buses, trains and subways in 2013 than in any year since 1956 as service improved, local economies grew and travelers increasingly sought alternatives to the automobile for trips within metropolitan areas, the American Public Transportation Association said in a report released on Monday.

Best Canadian Cities for Public Transit

—  Walk Score
Following on our ranking of the best U.S. cities for public transit earlier this year, today we’re announcing our first ranking of the best Canadian cities for public transit. We’ve calculated the Transit Score of 38 Canadian cities and almost 1,000 neighborhoods to help you find an apartment for rent or home for sale with a better commute and more transportation choices. In comparison to the United States, Toronto and Montreál score better than any large U.S. city except New York and San Francisco. And Vancouver, with a Transit Score of 74, trounces nearby Seattle (our home town), with a Transit Score of 57.

Dans les entrailles de la ligne jaune (French only)

—  Métro
Le tunnel de la ligne jaune du métro de Montréal a besoin de réfections majeures. Le béton de la voûte se détériore et les infiltrations d’eau s’accumulent. Pour faire ces travaux, la Société de transport de Montréal (STM) fermera complètement la ligne pendant 25 fins de semaine, dès le mois de mars. Sans ces réparations, l’envergure des réfections nécessaires pourrait quadrupler d’ici 10 ans. Les journalistes ont obtenu l’accès à cette zone où les travailleurs sont déjà à pied d’œuvre au petit matin.

Weekend metro service to the South Shore set for long hiatus

—  CTV
Those who enjoy zooming back and forth from the South Shore on the metro are in for a lingering season of deprivation, as the first of 25 consecutive weekend closures of the three-station yellow line is set to begin on March 8.

Autobus et métro en panne de financement (French only)

—  La Presse
Le 13 janvier dernier, quand un imposant morceau de béton s'est détaché d'un viaduc du boulevard Henri-Bourassa pour tomber sur une voiture qui roulait sur l'autoroute 40, le monde des transports en commun a tremblé. La possibilité qu'une partie des fonds destinés à l'entretien des routes soit plutôt attribuée aux transports collectifs, en difficulté financière, est soudainement devenue, ce jour-là, moins probable.

Ce métro qui est arrivé trop tard (French only)

—  Planète INRS.ca
Londres, Paris, New York. Il suffit de regarder les cartes des métros de ces grandes villes pour faire baver d’envie n’importe quel piéton montréalais : des systèmes ramifiés, des lignes qui couvrent l’ensemble du territoire et des possibilités de correspondances qui donnent le tournis. En comparaison, les quatre lignes montréalaises ont l’air bien modestes. Pourquoi? Une des personnes les plus qualifiées pour répondre à cette question s’appelle Dale Gilbert. Il a à peine 30 ans et arrive au terme de son postdoctorat sur notre petit métro souvent mal aimé. Un parcours qu’il a réalisé sous la supervision de Claire Poitras, directrice du Centre Urbanisation Culture Société de l’INRS.

STM: Michel Labrecque fait le bilan (French only)

—  La Presse
Michel Labrecque a toujours fait des listes. Il y a près de cinq ans, en prenant la présidence de la Société de transport de Montréal (STM), sa liste des «choses à faire» comprenait 28 points. Au moment de quitter un emploi et une équipe qu'il a adorés, il assure avoir coché tous les articles de cette liste. Y compris un point «qui n'est pas réglé».

In Montreal, Volvo drives for the future

—  The Globe and Mail
In the Quebec government’s push to become an electric transportation hub, Volvo Group affiliate Nova Bus Corp. is starting small, but has big ambitions.

Profession : restauratrice d'oeuvres d'art (French only)

—  Journal de Montréal
Plus d’une centaine d’œuvres d’art se trouvent un peu partout dans le réseau du métro de Montréal, et comme tout ce qui constitue les tunnels où passent des milliers de citadins chaque jour, la restauration est souvent de mise. Depuis 2007, la STM a investi plus de 750 000 $ dans la réalisation de son programme d’entretien et de restauration des œuvres d’art du métro de Montréal, ce qui a permis de mettre en valeur près d’une trentaine d’œuvres.

STM: un garage vert et surprenant de 165 millions (French only)

—  La Presse
La Presse Affaires a visité en exclusivité le chantier de cet imposant projet de 165 millions de dollars qui doit être inauguré au début de décembre. La STM a mandaté la firme d'architectes Lemay associés pour créer un centre capable d'accueillir 300 autobus flambant neufs, et jusqu'à 800 employés du groupe.

Montreal Subway (French only)

—  Fubiz.net
Le jeune photographe français, originaire de Toulouse, Alexandre Chamelat livre une série de clichés du métro montréalais. Prenant le même point de vue, ses images souterraines semblent nous inviter à un voyage dans les souterrains canadiens. A découvrir en détails dans la suite de l’article.

Combien faut-il payer pour un condo près du métro? (French only)

—  LaPresse
Habiter près du métro, c'est pratique, mais quel prix faut-il y mettre? Selon une étude récente sur les prix marchands des condos à proximité des stations montréalaises, il s'avère tout à fait possible d'habiter près d'une bouche de métro pour moins de 250 000$.

Public Transit Is Worth Way More to a City Than You Think

—  The Atlantic Cities
Planning scholar Daniel Chatman of the University of California at Berkeley has been thinking a lot lately about "agglomeration." Don't let the technical word throw you. All it really means is more people in the same place. As more people collect in a city center, more jobs cluster there too, boosting both wages and economic productivity over time. And the key to it all, he believes, may be public transportation.

Baby Delivered on D.C. Metro Platform

—  DCIST.com
Metro Transit Police say that a baby was delivered on the platform at L'Enfant Plaza about 10:50 a.m. The child is a boy, authorities added.

Love in a Time of Public Transportation

—  The Atlantic Cities
Prague transportation officials have suggested a novel way to help combat big city loneliness: introducing singles cars on the Prague metro. Mooted for later this year, the idea is to set aside one car per train (probably the last one) for single people for a fixed period each week (though apparently you wouldn’t have to be single to get on).

Vibrating Train Windows Will Soon Transmit Ads Directly Into Your Skull

—  AdWeek
If you're ever tired on a subway or train, be careful—a new advertising medium might put some ideas in your head. Literally. BBDO Düsseldorf has developed a special window for public transportation that uses a transmitter to silently release high-frequency oscillations that your brain will convert into sound.

STM says merci to transit users with iPhone app

—  The Gazette

Montreal’s transit authority is giving away a new iPhone app to say merci to bus and métro riders in a bid to keep them loyal. Launched Tuesday, the STM Merci app provides transit users “exclusive, personalized” discounts on services, events and products from dozens of partners, including the Canadiens, Communauto, the McCord Museum and IGA.

To view the article

Home Values Near Transit Outperform

—  UrbanLand

Homes near public transit retained their value better during the recession than their counterparts in auto-dependent areas, according to a recent study. What’s impressive is the extent of it: In five metropolitan areas—Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Phoenix, and San Francisco—residential property values performed 42 percent better on average if they were located near public transportation with frequent service.         

To view full article