As the MTA gets ready to replace the MetroCard with new electronic readers, the agency has found the firm who will be tasked with making it happen. The MTA has awarded Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS) with a $573 million contract to replace the MetroCard with electronic readers that allow for a pay-as-you-go system.
Cubic, which helped the MTA transition from the token to the MetroCard in the early 1990s, will devise a new system that gives the commuters the option to pay their fare on subways and buses using credit and debit cards, as well as using mobile apps like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.
The new system will also allow customers “to create personalized transit accounts” where they can track their ride history, check account balances, add value, and report lost or stolen cards. For customers who either don’t have or prefer not to use a credit or debit card, there will still be a contactless card option.
“Modernizing the fare payment system is a boon for riders. It will make public transit more convenient, more accessible and more efficient,” John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, said in a statement. “The new fare payment system will also save money for the MTA, and that savings can be used to improve transit operations for millions of daily riders.”
Here’s a video showing how it’ll work, via the Staten Island Advance:
The new system isn’t expected to roll out before 2021, and MetroCards will still be around until at least 2023. The new system will be in place in all subway stations, as well as on around 6,000 buses.