June 20, 2013

L.A. Metro, Metrolink launch 'smart' fare tickets

The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and Metrolink teamed up with Xerox and Cubic Transportation Systems to develop TAP-enabled Metrolink tickets that are compatible with the Metro TAP smart fare payment system.

The new TAP tickets, which are embedded with a “smart chip” and antenna, allow Metrolink passengers to easily access Metro gates with a quick tap of their ticket at all turnstiles. Once tapped, the chip relays a signal to unlatch the turnstile gates so riders can move between transit systems, eliminating the need for gate agents to view riders’ tickets. Under the old system, agents had to quickly scan tickets by eye to ensure they contained a unique transfer symbol.

Cubic designed, built, installed and integrated the Universal Fare system for Metro, which consists of new rail ticket vending machines and validators, fareboxes, a central data collection system, and related technology to record and process rides, store value, debit credit cards, accept cash and provide other "smart" services to the customer, which could include the ability to download prepaid transit benefits offered by participating employers.

Passengers can buy TAP tickets from any of the 118 Xerox-managed ticket vending machines found throughout Southern California.

Cubic brought on 10 transit carriers who are integrated in the TAP program. Within a year, there will be 25.

RELATED: "Passengers Seek More Ways to Pay Fares."

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