ASK to Supply 1.3 Million Mifare Plus Cards for New Panama Buses

ASK, a worldwide leader in mass transit contactless smart cards, has been selected by its client System Integrator SONDA, to deliver the contactless cards for Panama's brand new Metrobús network.

Panama City, a fast growing city in Central America, is undergoing a tremendous modernization of its public transport system with brand new buses, Metrobús, and a brand new Metro which is currently under construction. Congestion and traffic jams are now a daily routine for Panama's citizens, it is therefore essential to improve the traffic flow with a more efficient and convenient transport system.

In 2010, the first vehicles of the new Metrobús system arrived to replace the "Diablos Rojos", colorful and customized buses which crossed the city from one point to another.
Metrobús is going to change the life of the 600,000 daily users of Panama's public transport system, with contactless cards from ASK, which are already being successfully used in several large cities in Mexico.

"Electronic ticketing schemes must be convenient, reliable, affordable, secure and expandable to address the transportation challenges of rapidly growing cities like Panama", says Fabien Kaplanas, Sales Director at ASK. "We are proud to be part of Panama's new ticketing system."

Contactless technology will enhance the city of Panama's new modern and convenient bus system. These new contactless smart cards will offer more services to passengers, easy throughput and allow the transport operator to offer a customized fare collection structure.

"The MIFARE Plus IC platform, selected by SONDA, leverages NXPs deep understanding from 650 contactless ticketing schemes worldwide. It reflects the core project needs for high transaction speed, proven infrastructure compliance and trusted security using AES cryptography, while assuring a healthy cost level. This platform enables seamless multi modal travelling and even mobile ticketing in the future. ASK and SONDA are rolling out the successful MIFARE Plus into Latin America." adds Rainer Lutz, Global Marketing Manager AFC at NXP Semiconductors. 

ASK contactless smart cards are based on eco-friendly technology which uses silver ink antenna and direct die attached process. These smart cards are currently used across five continents and have been in circulation for over 14 years. For Panama's project, ASK also provided a long expertise and know-how in secret keys handling, a major service to produce and use MIFARE Plus cards.

"Panama's government wanted to improve the quality of the transportation service for its citizens. It was essential for us to rely on an experienced partner to implement this new ticketing system," said Daniel Guerra, Project Manager at SONDA. "ASK technology is already running successfully on other public transport networks all over the world."
In Panama City, this brand new public transport is no doubt going to improve the face of the city, decreasing pollution and enticing people to leave their car at home.