Test Phase Completed on Cubic-Developed Smart Card System for Washington, DC, Buses
SAN DIEGO & WASHINGTON, (BUSINESS WIRE), March 17, 2003–Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corp. (AMEX:CUB), and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) have completed final tests of the new smart-card-enabled fare processing system for Washington Metro area buses.
During the 90-day test period, which ended Feb. 10, riders of 80 Metro buses used new electronic fareboxes that Cubic integrated with WMATA’s Regional SmarTrip® System, the nation’s first interstate “contactless” smart card regional ticketing system.
The Regional SmarTrip® System involves 17 transit agencies that together carry approximately one half billion passenger trips per year. The farebox integration represents the first phase of a multi-agency deployment of Cubic’s fare processing systems across the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.
Fare processing across the region will be seamlessly linked via the SmarTrip® card, currently in use by nearly 300,000 patrons of Washington Metro subway and parking services. Beginning in May, the fareboxes will be installed on 1,500 Metro buses.
The Washington bus project is the cornerstone of the regional smart card initiative representing roughly $135 million in contracts awarded to Cubic since 1997, when the company began a pilot study. Participating agencies include WMATA, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), Montgomery County, Maryland Ride-On and Northern Virginia Transportation Commission–creators of The Regional Bus Fare Collection System. When completed, the system will include more than 5,000 smart card-enabled terminals throughout regional bus, subway and commuter rail lines.
Cubic is supplying smart card-processing validators, as well as currency-validating fareboxes, which are being manufactured by General Farebox Inc. (GFI). Cubic is adding its Nextfare™ terminal architecture to the fareboxes. This solution incorporates Cubic’s secure transaction processing environment, software and the Cubic Tri-Reader®. The Tri-Reader is a key component of Cubic’s Nextfare Solution Suite, an assortment of smart card technology tools, developed to plug into new and existing mass transit fare collection systems. Nextfare supports multiple contactless smart card technologies and applications. Cubic will also deliver the data communications equipment and perform all system integration requirements.
“Cubic’s technology has made it possible for the region’s transit leaders to deliver on their promise to make public transit more responsive. Together, we are paving the way to what will be the model for U.S. regional multi-operator, intermodal ticketing systems,” said Rick Johnson, Cubic Transportation Systems president and CEO. “Cubic and GFI are committed to the success of this program.”
“Washington, D.C. and Baltimore are the first U.S. cities that will reap the benefits of the technology partnering between GFI and Cubic,” said James A. Pacelli, president of GFI, headquartered in Elk Grove, Ill. “Cubic’s regional integrated ticketing solution and GFI’s innovative validating fareboxes ensure the success of this and future programs on which we are collaborating.”
SmarTrip® has been operational since 1999 when Cubic delivered it for WMATA’s rail system and park-and-ride facilities. Last year the Maryland MTA awarded Cubic a $38.1 million contract to expand the Regional SmarTrip® System to Maryland’s subway, light rail and commuter rail systems.
Contactless smart card technology speeds up boarding times and gives transit authorities a way to offer customers innovative fare programs such as the electronic download of prepaid transit benefits and Autoload, which lets transit users link their smart cards to their credit cards for automatic reload of transit value into the system. It offers commuters the opportunity to use a single smart card for public transportation as well as other government or private sector services, such as banking, employee identification and building access, which could easily be added to the card. Cubic, WMATA and the District of Columbia government are exploring ways to offer just such a card, to be used for identification, building access and transit.
Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s largest provider of integrated electronic ticketing systems and has smart card contracts for public transit systems in North America, Europe and Asia. Every year, nearly 10 billion rides are taken worldwide using Cubic-designed payment systems in more than 40 major markets in cities on five continents, including London, Washington, D.C., Hong Kong, Chicago, New York, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Atlanta, San Francisco, Singapore and Miami. Over the past 10 months Cubic has received contracts to provide smart card-enabled ticketing technology to transit providers in Baltimore, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, San Diego and Houston. As part of the TranSys consortium, Cubic supplied the entire automated fare collection system, including smart cards, for the London PRESTIGE project.
The corporation’s other major segment, Cubic Defense Applications, provides instrumented air and ground combat training systems, battle command training, simulations and simulation support for U.S. and allied military forces. The group also produces high technology avionics, data links and communications products for government and commercial customers, and a wide range of technical and logistics services. For more information about Cubic, see the company’s Web site at http://www.cubic.com.
Cubic Corp., San Diego
Jae Lande, 858/505-2642