New Yorkers will soon be able to pay for their daily journeys using a contactless fares system derived from the one designed and built in-house by Transport for London.
Last July, transport payments firm Cubic struck a licensing deal with TfL worth up to £15m for the right to include TfL’s code into the ticketing systems it sells to transport operators and city authorities around the world.
While the deal is non-exclusive, TfL did agree not to license its code to any rival bidder for the contract to revamp New York’s system.
On Wednesday the city’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority confirmed Cubic had been awarded the contract, paving the way for passengers to pay for their journeys with apps such as Apple Pay and contactless bank cards from mid-2019.
“The move to a truly 21st century method of payment represents a critical step in our overall efforts at modernizing the subway system and improving service for all our customers,” said MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota.
“The subway, bus and commuter rail network is the lifeblood of our regional economy and major upgrades like this help make the system more convenient and efficient for the millions of New Yorkers who use it every day.”
The contract was awarded following a vote by the MTA’s board and will see New York move away from its MetroCard and other existing ticketing systems over a five year period.
Cubic’s Matthew Cole said: “Today’s vote is a tremendous win for New Yorkers, paving the way for flexible payment options, a streamlined trip through the region’s public transit, and updated equipment that will help save money in operating costs.
“Together with the MTA, we look forward to building a transportation system of tomorrow.”
First introduced in 2012, the London system has been credited with driving consumer take-up of contactless and has seen TfL become one of Europe’s largest contactless retailers.
TfL opted to design and code its system in-house after assessing a number of existing commercial solutions which were ultimately deemed to be too retail centric or inflexible.
Since launching, the system has been updated to accept a number of mobile-based payment options including Google Wallet and Apple Pay.
Shashi Verma, TfL’s Chief Technology Officer and the architect of London’s contactless system, said: “As cities become smarter and more reliant on public transport, technology like this provides customers with a simple and convenient way of paying the right fare at the right time, without the need to purchase a ticket.
“This contactless ticketing system is helping commuters all around the world and it’s great that New Yorkers will benefit from the technology.”