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Suggested Citation:"FRONT MATTER." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2017. Legal Issues Concerning Transit Agency Use of Electronic Customer Data. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24730.
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The Problem and Its Solution The nation’s 6,000 plus transit agencies need to have access to a program that can provide authoritatively researched, specific, limited-scope studies of legal issues and problems having national significance and applica- tion to their business. Some transit programs involve legal problems and issues that are not shared with other modes; as, for example, compliance with transit- equipment and operations guidelines, FTA financing initiatives, private-sector programs, and labor or environ- mental standards relating to transit operations. Also, much of the information that is needed by transit attorneys to address legal concerns is scattered and fragmented. Con- sequently, it would be helpful to the transit lawyer to have well-resourced and well-documented reports on specific legal topics available to the transit legal community. The Legal Research Digests (LRDs) are developed to assist transit attorneys in dealing with the myriad of initia- tives and problems associated with transit start-up and operations, as well as with day-to-day legal work. The LRDs address such issues as eminent domain, civil rights, constitutional rights, contracting, environmental con- cerns, labor, procurement, risk management, security, tort liability, and zoning. The transit legal research, when con- ducted through the TRB’s legal studies process, either collects primary data that generally are not available else- where or performs analysis of existing literature. Legal Research Digest 48 TRANSIT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration March 2017 LEGAL ISSUES CONCERNING TRANSIT AGENCY USE OF ELECTRONIC CUSTOMER DATA This report was prepared under TCRP Project J-05, “Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs,” for which the Transportation Research Board is the agency coordinating the research. The report was prepared under Topic 16-02 by Larry W. Thomas, The Thomas Law Firm, Washington, DC. James B. McDaniel, TRB Counsel for Legal Research Projects, was the principal investigator and content editor. Responsible Senior Program Officer: Gwen Chisholm Smith Foreword Transit agencies are rapidly moving to electronic, cloud- based, and other computerized systems for fare purchases and for communicating with customers. “Smart” fare cards are now commonplace, and private businesses and transit agencies are using or planning to use smart- phones, smart cards and credit cards, and other systems to obtain payment, location, and other personal data from customers. Electronic payment systems and other systems that electronically collect and use customer information can help provide more responsive and efficient service and streamline payment and customer response. In addition, this data can be a revenue source for transit agencies. This digest explores the advantages, disadvantages, risks, and benefits of such transactions. Transit agencies must take appropriate safeguards and implement poli- cies and procedures so as not to discourage their cus- tomers’ use of electronic payment systems. This digest updates TCRP LRD 14: Privacy Issues in Public Transportation (2000) and TCRP LRD 25: Privacy Issues with the Use of Smart Cards (2008) and covers additional dimensions of collection and use of personal information using new technologies developed since those studies. The results of this research should be beneficial to transit agency managers, attorneys, information and technology companies who contract with and service the payment systems of transportation agencies, and designers of transit smart cards and other transit payment systems and related hardware.

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TRB's Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Legal Research Digest (LRD) 48: Legal Issues Concerning Transit Agency Use of Electronic Customer Data explores the advantages, disadvantages, risks, and benefits for transit agencies moving to electronic, cloudbased, and other computerized systems for fare purchases and for communicating with customers. “Smart” fare cards are now commonplace, and private businesses and transit agencies are using or planning to use smartphones, smart cards and credit cards, and other systems to obtain payment, location, and other personal data from customers.

This digest updates TCRP LRD 14: Privacy Issues in Public Transportation (2000) and TCRP LRD 25: Privacy Issues with the Use of Smart Cards (2008) and covers additional dimensions of collection and use of personal information using new technologies developed since those studies. Appendix A-D are available online only.

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