Motorola Swipes Bay Area Smart Card Project

San Francisco's Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has awarded a 10-year, $114 million contract to Motorola and the ERG Group to install and operate a smart card fare system. The collection system will enable riders to pay for transit system travel throughout the nine-county Bay Area with a single regional smart card.

The TransLink system, scheduled to go live by 2002, will let transit riders pay for Bay Area train, light rail, bus or ferry public transport with a single fare card. The smart card will be able to determine the correct fare by calculating different fare structures, transfers, routes, time of day and discounts for seniors, students and riders with disabilities.

MTC hopes the new system will speed boarding times and ease the frustration of travelers by eliminating the need to search for cash or new boarding passes as they commute through the city.

The commission also is counting on the new system to provide more accurate rider data to help transit agencies improve the efficiency of routes and schedules.

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