A system and method for facilitating the payment and collection of transit system fares using a mobile device utilizes a smart sign including near field communication (NFC) devices that communicate with a contactless element embedded within a mobile wireless device. Each NFC device is associated with a different transit location. The NFC devices may be included on the same smart sign located at one transit location or on different smart signs located at different transit locations. Alternatively, one NFC device may be included on a smart sign at a departure location and another NFC device may be activated when or after the user enters the transit system to provide proof of fare purchase. The mobile device is positioned proximate the NFC devices to activate the NFC devices and access fare and/or schedule information or purchase a fare.