"Cubic’s solution not only provides customers with a better and faster way to pay for transit, but also creates expanded economic opportunity for New Yorkers and job creation across the state."
Journeys on New York’s trains are set to be improved after a deal was signed with Cubic to supply a seamless fare payment system, fully integrating the city’s rail, subway and bus networks. The £408m ($539.5m) deal will see the US’s financial hub roll out a system that enables passengers to use a specially-developed travel card, along with credit or debit cards and smartphones, which can save money by only charging for a specific journey rather than a whole day's travel.
The latest deal, which is still subject to finalisation by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), echoes that which is currently in operation in London where operators Transport for London (TfL) allow customers to pay using Oyster, contactless bank cards, smartphones and watches.
When Cubic's system is up and running in New York, customers are expected to benefit not just from more convenient journeys but also more better-priced fares. In London, it was reported in July that nearly £2bn has been spent by customers using contactless payment methods since it was introduced in 2012, saving those passengers more than £123m.
Designed to give those using the system complete control, New York customers will be able to create personalised accounts that will show journey history, allow them to check balances and also report lost or stolen cards, just like on London’s network. As with TfL’s payment system, passengers will presumably be required to always use the same method of payment for the entire journey to avoid being charged a penalty fare, known as card clash.
Though no details have been released on when the system will be introduced, Cubic will be responsible for the design, integration, supply and implementation of the new fare payment system. It will also handle the associated services for platform hosting, hardware and software maintenance and call centre support. Equipment will include fare validators and new configurable ticket vending machines in the MTA’s 472 subway stations and 6,000 buses.
Cubic first became involved in New York’s transport network in 1992, when the technology company introduced the card still in use (MetroCard) that will eventually be replaced by the new payment system.
Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transportation Systems, said the company was honoured to again be involved, indicating that the system would improve the city’s economic prospects. “Cubic’s solution not only provides customers with a better and faster way to pay for transit, but also creates expanded economic opportunity for New Yorkers and job creation across the state through the involvement of minority and women-owned enterprises to help implement the new system,” said Cole.
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