The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in the US has awarded a $539.5m contract to Cubic Transportation Systems to replace its MetroCard ticketing system with new contactless technology.

Cubic’s new solution is expected to be similar to the system currently deployed on the bus, Tube and rail services operated by Transport for London (TfL) in the UK.

The deal also includes a number of options worth a total of $33.9m. It has been approved by the MTA’s Board and is subject to contract finalisation.

MTA chairman Joseph Lhota 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 Cubic, we look forward to building the MTA of tomorrow.”

The agreement involves the rollout of a contactless payment system that supports debit and credit cards, mobile devices and conventional smart card transactions on-board the bus or at turnstiles.

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The new system is expected to enable passengers to create personalised transit accounts, which will allow them to view their usage history and check or top-up balances, as well as report lost or stolen cards.

Cubic noted that customers without a bank card, or those who prefer not to use one, will be provided with a contactless card option, which will be equipped with the same account management convenience features.

“Cubic helped revolutionise fare payment with the MetroCard’s introduction in 1992 and we are honoured to play an important role in the future of mobility in New York.”

Cubic Transportation Systems president Matt Cole said: “Cubic helped revolutionise fare payment with the MetroCard’s introduction in 1992 and we are honoured to play an important role in the future of mobility in New York.

“Cubic’s solution not only provides customers with a better and faster way to pay for transit, but also creates expanded economic opportunity for New Yorkers and job creation across the state through the involvement of minority and women-owned enterprises to help implement the new system.”

The company will be responsible for the design, integration, supply and implementation of the new fare payment system as part of the deal.

It will also provide associated services for platform hosting and hardware / software maintenance, in addition to transition services such as supplemental call center support.

Additionally, the arrangement covers the provision of new equipment such as fare validators and new configurable ticket vending machines, which will be located across MTA’s 472 subway stations and on-board 6,000 buses.

The deal also includes an option to support the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and Metro-North Rail Road via the acquisition of additional validation and vending equipment.