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Bay Area signs smart card deal

01 Jul 1999

THE LARGEST smart-card fare collection contract yet awarded in North America was signed by San Francisco's Metropolitan Transportation Commission on May 27. The 10-year turnkey agreement with Motorola's Worldwide Smartcard Solutions Division and the ERG Group provides for the installation of a smart card ticketing system that may eventually cover every public transport operator in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The consortium will initially conduct a six-month trial of the new TransLink system towards the end of next year. This will cover about 5000 passengers using metro, rail, light rail and bus services worked by BART, Caltrain, Muni, Golden Gate Transit, AC Transit and Santa Clara County's Valley Transportation Authority.

If the trials are successful, TransLink will be expanded to cover the services of 26 operators from 2001, allowing seamless travel throughout the region. Motorola and ERG will fund the installation and operation of the equipment, and will receive between US$114m and US$157m, depending the level of card usage over the 10-year concession.