Cubic Corporation this past week announced that its Cubic Transportation Systems business division was selected by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority to replace the iconic MetroCard with an open-fare system similar to the ones used in Chicago and London.
The base contract award is $539.5 million with additional options worth $33.9 million. The award has been approved by the MTA’s board and is subject to contract finalization.
“Today’s vote is a tremendous win for New Yorkers, paving the way for flexible payment options, a streamlined trip through the region’s public transit, and updated equipment that will help save money in operating costs,” Joseph J. Lhota, chairman of the MTA, said in a press release. “Together with Cubic, we look forward to building the MTA of tomorrow.”
Cubic said the new system will enable customers to create personalized transit accounts to see ride history, check balances, add value as well as report lost or stolen cards to protect their funds. They will also have the option of using payment methods such as credit and debit cards and mobile devices at the bus or turnstile, instead of purchasing and adding value to a separate fare card, to offer a retail payment experience to transit.
For those customers without a bank card or who prefer not to use one, a contactless card option will still be available with the same account management convenience features. Mobile phones can also be used like ticket vending machines to check account balances and recharge fare accounts anywhere.
The new system will also provide an enhanced and integrated travel experience across the region including access to Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Rail Road, according to the release.