MARTA Proceeds with Cubic Transportation Systems Fare Collection Contract

Friday 9 January 2004 00:21 CET | News

A Fulton County, Georgia, judge has paved the way for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) to proceed with a $72.5 million contract awarded to Cubic subsidiary, Cubic Transportation Systems, for a new smart card-based fare collection system throughout the Atlanta region.

The judge denied a request by Thales e-Transactions for a permanent injunction against MARTA that would have required the transit authority to rebid the contract. Thales claimed MARTA did not follow proper procedures in the contract award; however, the judge, in his ruling wrote, The proposals were fairly evaluated, and Cubic had both the superior technical score and the lower cost. MARTA will proceed with the contract award to Cubic. Originally MARTA wanted to install the new system in 2005. The four-month legal challenge is expected to delay the desired completion date. In October, MARTA awarded Cubic a $72.5 million contract which, with options, could be worth as much as $104 million, to replace MARTAs existing magnetic ticketing and token-based system with the companys state-of-the-art open architecture smart card ticketing technology. The new system will allow commuters to use one card to pay for rail, bus, L-van (paratransit) fares and park-and-ride fees. The new system will be the first in the U.S. to deploy a low-cost, limited-use smart card. This regional interoperability is made possible by Cubics open architecture back-office system, called the Nextfare Central System, and its patented Tri-Reader technology. Nextfare is a configurable suite of software modules designed to provide the core central computing, transaction processing, operational management, financial clearing and settlement, reporting functionality and the scalability to support additional services as needed over time. The Tri-Reader, an integral module in all Cubic fare collection equipment, can read any type of contactless smart card that meets ISO standards, providing Atlanta with flexibility, interoperability and a range of ticket media choices.

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