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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has awarded a $539.5 million contract to Cubic Transportation Systems to replace the agency's MetroCard with an electronic fare payment system.The new system will enable riders to pay for rides using credit and debit cards or mobile devices instead of purchasing and adding value to a separate fare card.The system is similar to one used on Transport for London's rail and bus services, Cubic officials said in a press release.The change will allow MTA to phase out 20-year-old equipment that each year gets more expensive to maintain.Cubic will design, supply and implement the new fare payment system, as well as provide services for platform hosting and hardware and software maintenance. The company also will provide new fare validators and a new configurable ticket vending machines in MTA's 472 subway stations and 6,000 buses.The contract includes an option to purchase additional validation and vending equipment for MTA Long Island Rail Road and MTA Metro-North Railroad. Passengers will be able to use MetroCards during the transition to the new system, Cubic officials saidMeanwhile, MTA's board yesterday voted to end alcohol advertising on its rail and bus systems. The vote followed a four-year campaign by the Building Alcohol Ad-Free Transit coalition, which was endorsed by more than 160 organizations in New York City.