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Welcome to Miami: Mobile payments coming to area's transit system

Cubic Transportation Systems, a business unit of Cubic Corporation, announced it was awarded a $33 million contract from the Miami-Dade County's Department of Transportation and Public Works to modernize the Cubic-supplied EASY Card and will include the system's acceptance of contactless bankcards and NFC-enabled mobile payments, as well as upgrades to fare terminals and the EASY Card back office to process account-based transactions for new and easy ways to pay.

These technology upgrades will complement and enhance the existing EASY Card system, delivered by Cubic in 2009, for the department that has average daily boardings of approximately 300,000 on Metrobus, Metrorail, Metromover and Special Transportation Service, according to a press release about the contract. Cubic will also provide 10 years of back-office cloud computing and support services.

In addition to EASY Card, Cubic's payment technologies for the transit system will represent a hybrid system drawing from Chicago and London, the world's two largest open and account-based payment transit systems that were developed by Cubic.

Mobile payments also will be supported through mobile wallets, such as ApplePay, AndroidPay and Masterpass. Emerging wearables, such as the AppleWatch and Samsung Gear, will also be accepted.

In collaboration with Passport, Cubic will also introduce a new mobile app that gives riders a range of convenient features and tools, including EASY Card balance checking, viewing account history, account management and fare product purchases for loading to their EASY Cards. Passport is a provider of transportation mobile apps, having delivered parking applications in cities such as Chicago, Toronto and Boston, as well as mobile ticketing applications in Sacramento, Cleveland and Jacksonville.

Riders will be able to add value to their existing EASY Cards or download a virtual EASY Card into their NFC-enabled mobile phones. For those with phones not supporting NFC, the app will support a display-generated mobile ticket, both in visual and bar code form. Other features will include the opportunity to participate in transit rewards programs.

"Seamless travel remains a priority for the Department of Transportation and Public Works, and what this project with Cubic will deliver are options to enrich the traveler experience through open and mobile payments, as well as moving back office operations from us to Cubic — giving our agency the ability to focus on our core mission of creating a full range of well-synchronized mobility services within our community," said Alice N. Bravo, P.E., director of DTPW. "It's important for our transit system to incorporate the latest technologies, so this agreement represents another way that we are moving forward into the future of transportation. Our customers will be able to take advantage of a progressively broader range of service enhancements as they roll out in stages over the course of the next eight to 18 months."