TransLink picks supplier for planned “smart card” fare-payment system

A corporate group has been selected by TransLink to create and run an electronic fare-collection system for the region’s public transportation network.

TransLink announced today (December 9) that Cubic Transportation Systems and IBM Canada put forward the successful bid.

The “smart card” and faregate system will be intended to deter fare evasion and improve safety, according to the regional transit authority. It is expected to be up and running by 2013.

“TransLink’s new system is expected to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and security of the transit network by providing a convenient and seamless ”˜one card’ approach for customers to travel all modes of transit,” reads a news release.

“As well faregates will provide a visual and physical deterrent to entering the system without payment.”

“The new system will also accept contactless bank-issued cards for tourists, casual riders and others and will allow TransLink to collect important trip and ridership data to enable more coordinated system planning and deployment.”

The project has an estimated price tag of around $171 million. Of that, the provincial and federal governments have committed to jointly providing up to $70 million.

The system will cover SkyTrain, bus, SeaBus, rail, and HandyDart services.

The contract with the Cubic/IBM team has yet to be finalized.

Two other bidders—Serco/Parkeon and Thales/Octopus—were considered during a request-for-proposal process.

Cubic Transportation Systems has worked on metropolitan fare-collection systems in such cities as Los Angeles, London, and San Francisco.

TransLink also held a contest to pick a name for the new fare card, receiving more than 54,000 submissions. The winner is expected to be revealed in January 2011.

You can follow Stephen Thomson on Twitter at twitter.com/thomsonstraight.

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ulala

Dec 9, 2010 at 8:15pm

Was it really a suprise that Ken Dobell's lobbying wouldn't pay off for Cubic? Open bidding, my left toe.

3 3 Rating: 0

Its about.

Dec 9, 2010 at 9:26pm

TIME! This should have been done 15 years ago but at least it's finally on it's way.

2 3 Rating: -1

slowthinker

Dec 10, 2010 at 7:51am

We spend $171M to save $1M/year. So we will break even in 171 years. Ok I'm a little slow...

3 1 Rating: +2

Evil Eye

Dec 10, 2010 at 9:15am

Actually the truth is, most transit operations are trying to rid themselves of turnstiles as they do nothing but hinder passengers. Cubit knew that Dobell had the Premier's ear and sold a growingly unsellable product to TransLink was a snap.

3 1 Rating: +2

Steve Y

Dec 10, 2010 at 10:24am

yeah, this is insane. 170 million for what? To prevent some teenagers and homeless people from riding on the skytrain? They'll probably end up jumping the turnstiles anyways. This is a complete waste of money.

4 2 Rating: +2

Donnie

Dec 10, 2010 at 11:04am

Cubic is terrible - look at the lawsuit in Sydney, and the mess that is Brisbane transport

Beware Vancouver!

3 3 Rating: 0

Colleen M

Dec 10, 2010 at 11:46am

Don't forget single mom's and their babes and the working poor all excluded from using public transit because the low income are no longer considered the public.

3 2 Rating: +1

unknown sample

Dec 10, 2010 at 2:46pm

The majority of the posters here are a bunch of whiners. How could anyone complain about the installation of a system that will reduce the number transit freeloaders?

The collection of transit revenues is essential for continued operation of the transit system, let alone an expansion of said services.

Or do you think everything should be free? You guys are hilarious.

3 5 Rating: -2

looters !

Dec 10, 2010 at 2:56pm

Who is watching over the looters at TrickyLink? I've heard a rumour that the RCMP has opened a file on the Liberals and ...

4 3 Rating: +1

Kim

Dec 10, 2010 at 4:22pm

@ Unknown sample:

Admittedly, I like the idea of installing turnstiles and think that we should increase efforts to reduce fare evasion but the business case for turnstiles doesn't make sense. We are about to spend $170 million when:

"TransLink spokesman Ken Hardie said Tuesday that third-quarter performance statistics showed the transportation authority was getting an average of $1.91 in revenue per passenger, compared to a budgeted $1.99. Over the course of the year, that eight cents per passenger could work out to a loss of approximately $5 million."

http://www.theprovince.com/TransLink+looks+crack+down+fare+evasion/39083...

So let's see: 170/5 = 34 years to pay them off + interest and maintenance costs and assuming that fare evasion will remain at $5 million a year.

With our transit system busting at the seams on some routes and the Northeast sector highly congested due to the lack of the Evergreen Line and a tonne of development over recent years surely investing that $170 million in service expansion is a more fiscally responsible choice.

3 4 Rating: -1
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