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Rail News: Passenger Rail

East Coast transit agencies opt for regional smart cards


Officials at East Coast transit agencies — which often transfer to one another and sometimes overlap service areas — have for some time considered the possibility of incorporating a "very" smart Smart Card: one that passengers can use on several systems or modes and distribute payments to the agencies accordingly. Their wish is Cubic’s command.

Cubic Transportation Systems Sept. 28 won $15 million in contracts to link all Virginia and Maryland bus operations to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail and parking facility smart card system.

Last spring, WMATA and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) signed contracts worth $20.7 million and $21.9 million, respectively, for equipment to make their bus services compatible with WMATA’s SmarTrip contactless fare card system. As a provision of those contracts, Cubic will receive $58.6 million to complete by mid-2003 the interstate/intermodal regional system — which includes 13 northern Virginia and Maryland suburban bus operators.

"In order to ensure the future success of mass transit and meet Maryland’s goal of doubling transit ridership by 2020, it is imperative that we implement an integrated fare collection system that works conveniently for citizens throughout the state and throughout the region," said Virginia White, MTA acting administrator, in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/1/2001