Cubic and Chicago Transit Authority win award at ITS America Annual Meeting & Expo

Thinking Cities
By Thinking Cities June 4, 2015 11:08

Cubic and Chicago Transit Authority win award at ITS America Annual Meeting & Expo

Cubic Transportation Systems and Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) were awarded the “Best New Innovative Practice-Partnership Deployment” for Ventra, their joint contactless bankcard payment system. The award, given at the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) Annual Meeting & Expo in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, recognized the organizations for implementing innovative projects with outcomes that redefine performance in public transport.

ITS America gives awards annually in what it considers a highly competitive program to honour effective, influential achievements in transportation.

Ventra, which is built on Cubic’s account-based technology, is an open payment system designed to accept bank-issued contactless cards as fare media directly at the turnstile, farebox and elsewhere.  In addition, the CTA-issued Ventra card includes a transit account and an optional prepaid debit account, creating the ability to pay for transit and everyday retail purchases, such as groceries, shopping online or dining out, all in one card. Commuters with contactless cards from all participating payment brands can use the system, and commuters without such a card – or without a bank account – can opt for the Ventra card.

“Ventra has provided our customers increased flexibility in travelling the city and greater ease in purchasing and managing fares,” said Michael Gwinn, director of Revenue and Fare Systems. “We look forward to continuing to enhance the benefits of Ventra to transit riders through a mobile app now under development that will allow customers to board CTA, Metra and Pace from their smartphones, and maintaining our cutting-edge position in the transit industry.”

“The Ventra system is not only advanced next-generation technology, but it is based on a new public-private partnership model that can be replicated for other transportation payment system implementations,” said Matt Cole, executive vice president and deputy, strategy and business development, for Cubic Transportation Systems. “With this partnership model, public agencies can future proof their system to help ensure it delivers on their promise of providing efficient and convenient public transportation to their customers.”

The 12-year design-build-operate-maintain contract for Ventra was awarded to Cubic by the CTA in November 2011.  The CTA’s payment system that launched in the fall of 2013 has nearly 4.2 million active accounts, exceeded 560 million transactions and 100 percent market share.  With Cubic’s supporting services to manage and operate Ventra, the CTA has met its goals to modernize the agency’s outdated fare payment system while maximizing convenience and account security for its customers.

As one of the first transit agencies in the world electing to transition entirely to an account-based system, the CTA has achieved other “firsts” for Ventra’s account-based fare systems:

  • the first intermodal open payment system (bus and rail)
  • the first interagency open payment system (CTA and suburban bus operator Pace  and future integration with regional commuter rail Metra).

To read more about ITS America and its awards, visit http://www.itsa.org/awards.

Thinking Cities
By Thinking Cities June 4, 2015 11:08