Cubic Transportation Systems has been approved by the Chicago Transit Authority to deliver the agency's Open Standards Fare System (OSFS) to suburban bus operator Pace. The deal expands the largest North America transit industry public private partnership for fare collection systems and services, increasing Cubic's original contract by approximately $50 million to $508.9 million. Cubic Transportation Systems is a business segment of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation and a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services for intelligent travel solutions.
The OSFS will let CTA and Pace customers pay their transit fares with any contactless bankcard that conforms to industry standards, the same way they can pay for goods and services in the retail world. CTA rail station turnstiles and CTA and Pace buses will have card readers that accept payment with a simple tap of the card. As they become more available in the marketplace, NFC-enabled mobile phones with bankcards residing on them will also be accepted in the system.
For customers without a bankcard, contactless reloadable prepaid cards will be sold at retail stores and vending machines in CTA stations. Pace's participation will add another 500 stores to the retail network where the reloadable cards are sold, bringing the number to 2,500 locations across Chicago and neighboring communities. Pace is one of the largest bus services in North America and covers an area of more than 3,500 square miles.
"We at Pace are excited to be a part of this groundbreaking way to pay that will set the standard for transit agencies going forward," said T.J. Ross, Pace's executive director. "It will simplify fare payment for our customers and simplify fare collection operations for us."
"This is the latest example of the regional transit providers working together to better coordinate services to benefit our customers," said CTA president Forrest Claypool. "This will enhance our riders' experience by making fare payment consistent across buses and metros in Chicago and the suburbs, and enable our customers to use the latest in open contactless card and mobile payment technologies."