TfL and Cubic to offer London’s contactless ticketing system worldwide

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London is going to allow other cities around the globe to benefit from its world-class multi-award winning contactless ticketing system, as part of a deal that will freeze fares in the UK capital for the next four years.

Transport for London (TfL) has announced its world-class contactless ticketing system is set to be used by other major cities as part of a deal worth up to £15m (US$19.7m), which will be used to help deliver a fares freeze that the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (top), has announced across TfL services for the next four years.

TfL has signed a deal with Cubic Transportation Systems (CTS), a business unit of the Cubic Corporation, allowing them to adapt the capital’s contactless ticketing system worldwide. It is the first of a number of planned agreements to sell TfL’s expertise both at home and abroad, which was a key manifesto commitment for the Mayor. The license will grant CTS access to London’s contactless system, allowing it to be specifically tailored for other world cities’ transport systems.

TfL and CTS have a long-running partnership, having worked together to introduce the Oyster card system in 2003, as well as working together with the UK card industry to make TfL the first public transport provider in the world to accept contactless payment cards. The contactless payment system was first launched on London’s buses in December 2012 and expanded to cover Tube and rail services in London in September 2014. Since then, more than 500 million journeys have been made by more than 12 million unique credit and debit cards from 90 different countries, as well as contactless-enabled mobile devices.

Around one in 10 contactless transactions in the UK is made on TfL’s network, making it one of the largest contactless merchants worldwide. Outside London, CTS also provides smartcard ticketing technology to a number of world cities, including Sydney and Brisbane in Australia, Vancouver, Canada, and Chicago, Illinois in the USA. This new non-exclusive agreement will also enable them to combine the best features from the London and other Cubic systems and make them available to other cities across the globe.

“We’re delighted to have agreed this licensing deal with Cubic Transportation Systems to introduce our contactless payment system to other world cities,” said Shashi Verma, chief technology officer and director of customer experience at TfL. “Contactless payments have completely transformed the way people pay for travel in London, and this deal will allow other world cities to benefit from the hard work we put into making the system work for our customers.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said, “I made a firm commitment to sell Transport for London’s expertise around the globe. We will use the income from those deals for further investment in new infrastructure and to freeze TfL fares.”

Matthew Cole, president of CTS, said, “This agreement between Cubic and TfL sets a new standard in public/private partnerships, and acknowledges the success of account-based payment for transit, for which there is clear interest from many cities across the world.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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