Transport for London Licenses Technology to Cubic
Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transit authority, and Cubic Transportation Systems have consummated a £15 million (US$20 million) licensing deal enabling Cubic to tailor London’s contactless system technology for other world cities’ transport systems.
Given the widespread success in London of enabling contactless payments via payment cards and mobile devices, the arrangement likely gives Cubic some cachet when marketing its smartcard ticketing technology to other transit authorities.
TFL and Cubic have been partners since the 2003 launch of the Oyster prepaid card. TfL was the first public transit provider to accept contactless payment cards, starting on its buses in 2012, and expanding to subway and rail service two years later. More than 500 trips have been made, and with approximately 10 percent of those trips paid with contactless transactions TfL claims to be one of the largest contactless merchants in the world.
“The challenges of mobility in 21st-century cities, including access for all, inclusion, environmental concerns and the pressure of ever-growing populations, can only be met through cooperation and partnership,” said Cubic President Matthew Cole. “This agreement between Cubic and TfL sets a new standard in public/private partnerships for addressing these issues, and acknowledges the success of account-based payment for transit for which there is clear interest from many cities across the world.” Cubic currently provides smartcard ticketing technology to several cities outside of London, including Chicago, Vancouver, Canada, and Sydney and Brisbane, Australia.
The licensing deal also benefits London commuters. London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced a freeze on fares across the TfL system for four years. Income from selling TfL’s “expertise” will go toward further investment in new infrastructure, he said.