June 17, 2010

Cubic launches San Francisco Bay Area smart card

Cubic Transportation Systems, a subsidiary of Cubic Corp., installed the Clipper branding on fareboxes, gates and ticketing machines and is now in charge of distributing the new smart card to local commuters throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.

Featuring colorful abstract artwork symbolizing 19th century Clipper ships, the reloadable Clipper card allows riders to transfer from one transit agency to another by simply touching the card to the Clipper card reader on board each bus or at rail stations — using one card to pay for all the rides. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the agency that plans, coordinates and finances transportation projects in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, chose the name Clipper because of its connection with the region's transportation history.

Cubic joined with MTC officials in officially launching the new smart card on June 16. So far, Muni, BART, AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, Golden Gate Ferry and Caltrain — representing about 80 percent of Bay area transit riders — are on the regional smart card bandwagon. Eventually, 25 transit agencies plan to use the Clipper system.

Currently, close to 113,000 people actively use Clipper's predecessor, the TransLink card, and TransLink cards are still being accepted on all fare collection devices.

In addition to swapping TransLink decals and modifying card readers to accept the new smart card, Cubic's Concord employees helped MTC to create the new Clipper Website, which Cubic will maintain. Concord employees also install and upgrade hardware and software; operate a call center and repair depot; provide field maintenance; and supply central system administration, financial settlement and clearing for Bay Area transit agencies.

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