According to French newspaper Le Monde, transit users in Paris will be able to access the subway, bus and region train systems with their cell phones at the end of 2010. Tickets/passes will downloaded on mobile devices via short-range wireless communications (NFC). The article mentions that tickets will be transferable between phones.

via Le “téléphone-ticket de transport” dès fin 2010 en Ile-de-France – Société – Le Monde.fr.

What it means: thought that mobile devices were only about communications? Think again. As Research In Motion’s CEO Mike Lazaridis said yesterday, your mobile device will become your “wireless wallet.” It’s one of the reasons why they bought Certicom earlier this year, “to embed that kind of security in our devices to make sure that things like wireless banking becomes a reality, and to make sure that we have the rights to these security models that you feel comfortable keeping medical information on them, or your license on these devices, your passport on these devices, or your credit card on these devices, or your bank access on these devices.”

(via the Google Maps blog)

For some time now we have been “painting” icons for transit stops into our maps. While it was helpful to be able to see where to catch a train or bus, it left a lot of people wishing they could click on the icon to get more information about a specific station. Now that’s all changed! Depending on the data available for a given public transit system, Google Maps now shows the next departure times, what lines serve a specific station, and/or a link to the transit agency to get more detail. Try clicking on one of the little bus or tram icons on this map of Zurich, Switzerland, to see what we mean. You can also search for stations (for example “59th St – Columbus Circle Station, new york“).

What it means: very zeitgeist-y. Transit system information is becoming more and more important as people decide to leave their car at home to reduce their environmental footprint. If your site uses maps and driving directions (especially local search and directory sites), you should be thinking of embedding similar information. Start discussing with your local transit authorities.

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