Calif. agency upgrades smart card connectivity

Posted on December 18, 2013

Allied Telesis announced the Calif.-based Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) deployed an Allied Telesis network to upgrade connectivity to VTA Ticket Vending Machines and Clipper smart card readers throughout its 42-mile light-rail transit system.

With a reliable and scalable network backing up Clipper card readers, VTA’s 42 million annual riders can pay for transit fares and reload Clipper cards as necessary with a convenient tap-and-go system at VTA’s 62 light-rail stations.

Clipper is a reloadable, contactless smart card used for electronic transit fare payment in California’s San Francisco Bay Area. The implementation of this new system eases VTA rider commutes by allowing them to transfer between transit systems with the tap of a card. Some 625,000 Clipper cards are in use throughout the Bay Area.

Allied Telesis worked closely with VTA to understand the challenges of its legacy Clipper card system, which consisted of multiple types of network equipment from multiple vendors. The company offered a ruggedized, resilient solution that included gigabit ethernet switches in various configurations. The solution met the rigorous requirements that come with outdoor installations, and Allied Telesis staff served as an extension of the VTA technical team in order to meet critical deadlines and provide training to VTA personnel.

The advanced Allied Telesis network at the heart of the Clipper card system has created a solid foundation that will enable VTA to expand its offerings to include additional card readers, passenger Wi-Fi, emergency phones, and digital real-time information signage and/or advertising — all services focused on enhancing customer satisfaction.

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