Cubic Transportation Systems was 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.
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.