Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) received a $4.8 million contract modification from the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to conduct a major upgrade to its automatic fare collection (AFC) system. The upgraded system will provide the MTA with the opportunity to accept new payment methods, such as mobile payments, as well as add new features, including a new customer web portal and an integration path with third-party transport services in the future.
To date, Cubic provided software maintenance and technical support for the AFC system. Under the contract modification, CTS will perform a software update, upgrading AFC from Cubic’s NextFare 4.0 revenue management system, to NextFare 7. This form of an approach is a cost-effective solution for giving the MTA the freedom to innovate, without having to overhaul the entire AFC system, according to the company.
The cloud-based platform will replace all the key functionality currently provided by the existing scheme and offer a number of advanced features, such as payment card industry (PCI) compliant payment application for processing credit and debit transactions; support of enhanced fare policy; and enhanced reporting and analytics, as well as allow the MTA to monitor the conditions of fare collection equipment, so that repairs can be made quickly and efficiently, without much impact on customer service.
A future expansion benefit of the system is that the platform can be enhanced to enable the MTA to integrate third-party systems, such as bikesharing and ridesharing services, into the transport experience for the public, in alignment with its BaltimoreLink program.