NXP MIFARE Plus selected to power unified “Podorozhnik” transport card project in St. Petersburg

Posted: 28 June 2011 | NXP Semiconductors | No comments yet

MIFARE Plus™ contactless IC has been chosen to power the AFC system…

NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ: NXPI) today announced that its MIFARE Plus™ contactless IC has been chosen to power the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system in St. Petersburg, Russia. The “Podorozhnik” – a unified electronic transport card – has been introduced in St. Petersburg to provide passengers with a convenient transport payment system. The project is a joint effort by the City Transport Committee of St. Petersburg, NXP and AFC solution providers for ground and underground transportation, including ZAO “MF-Tarif,” an NXP MIFARE Plus-based transport card manufacturer, along with SMARTRAC, a global inlay manufacturer. The unified transport card with integrated eWallet allows access to all public transportation systems in St. Petersburg. It supports future integration of additional operators such as suburban trains, road-tolling systems, parking lots and water transport.

The “Podorozhnik” card is based on an advanced electronic carrier, which incorporates contactless transport card functions featuring a flexible tariff system common to all project participants. The card also features a multi-purpose payment control policy allowing future integration of new players and new services based on MIFARE Plus cards. MIFARE™ technology is already used by operators of public ground and underground transport in the S-Petersburg and Leningrad Region, as well as suburban electric trains. Thus, there is significant opportunity to expand the reach of the new transport card and integrate additional services, such as access to city transport and suburban trains, parking fees and road-tolling, as well as other innovations in accordance to long-term city development plans.

Since its launch in 2009, NXP’s MIFARE Plus has introduced new standards of security and privacy to contactless smartcard systems. Designed to offer a smooth upgrade path from earlier products such as MIFARE Classic™, NXP’s latest MIFARE contactless IC enables systems integrators to add new security features and functionality into existing MIFARE infrastructures. The recent implementation of the Podorozhnik system is built around the NXP MIFARE Plus IC, which has received Common Criteria EAL 4+ certification and features 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). This provides banking-grade security for transport applications, not only securely storing data on the number of trips in the transport card, but also securely expanding the range of services available for the card holder.

“The implementation of a unified transport card project based on NXP’s MIFARE Plus technology in one of Russia’s largest cities is a significant achievement for NXP and our partners,” said Henri Ardevol, vice president and general manager, secure transactions, NXP Semiconductors. “We see increasing demand for contactless technology in Russia and the other CIS states. Major operators such as the Moscow Metro already use our MIFARE technology, and our MIFARE Plus solution is powering ground transportation in Sochi, host of the 2014 Winter Olympics. St. Petersburg’s AFC system is an excellent example of a large-scaled MIFARE Plus-based project implementation. It confirms, once again, that the MIFARE technology platform provides system integrators with the flexibility to create an AFC system respecting the individual needs of the customer, while offering a clear upgrade path to increased levels of security and privacy when required.”

“The Podorozhnik project is the next step of implementation of the automatic fare collection system in St. Petersburg and provides passengers with a multifunctional transport card, combining all types of urban transport, as well as suburban transport in the future,” said Stanislav V. Popov, chairman of the transport committee of St. Petersburg. “The unique benefit of the project is that it allows passengers to access all city transportation resources with a single card instead of multiple cards for various types of transport – passengers don’t need to worry about buying multiple cards and their validity dates to access the desired transportation resource whenever they need it. Moreover, if the card is regularly used, the discounted tariff will be activated automatically. Thus, for a frequent passenger taking advantage of using the Podorozhnik card in the city transport of S-Petersburg, discounts of 1.5 to 7 roubles per trip can apply. The launch of a unified Podorozhnik transport card will make every trip by public transport more comfortable for a passenger, and will decrease the number of passengers using cash to pay for a trip (around 25 percent today).”

“We have worked with NXP for a number of years. Choosing the innovative MIFARE Plus technology to power the unified Podorozhnik transport card for St. Petersburg was a major decision; however, we never had doubts about the support from NXP. Advanced security levels and full compatibility with MIFARE Classic infrastructure are the benefits of MIFARE Plus technology. As a result we were able to introduce this innovative product to the city within quite a short timeframe through integration of the new carrier into the already functional and well-tuned system,” said Elena N. Makova, deputy CEO of MF-Tarif, the supplier of AFC system for ground transportation in St. Petersburg and Podorozhnik transport card manufacturer. “The new product provides multifunctionality and reliable data storage, allowing the city to securely implement flexible tariffs policy, set up long-term card validity dates, and quickly integrate new service operators in the system.”

The pilot of the unified Podorozhnik transport card based on MIFARE Plus technology took place in St Petersburg in January 2011. Mass roll-out of the system started in May 2011. In total, the system will serve more than four million residents and more than one million tourists daily.