BART tops one million contactless smart cards

The Bay Area-based Metropolitan Transit Commission has surpassed one million active Clipper® cards in circulation just 18 months after rebranding the card from TransLink to Clipper, making the contactless smart card fare collection system one of the fastest growing in the U.S. transit industry. 

In making the announcement, the agency credited the increasing number of participating transit operators as well as their collective customer education efforts for driving the growth, up 142 percent from the prior year. Cubic Transportation Systems, a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation (NYSE: CUB) delivered and operates the Clipper system.

 “We’re really pleased about the numbers, and that word is getting out that it’s time to switch from paper to plastic,” MTC’s Clipper Program Senior Coordinator Jake Avidon said in the MTC announcement. To convert transit riders from old-style paper tickets to the modern Clipper card, participating agencies have been actively educating riders on the benefits, including the one-card convenience, the capability to add value online at https://www.clippercard.com/ClipperWeb/index.do and special fare discount programs for some riders.

“We’re excited for MTC and its customers that Clipper is winning over new fans who recognize how much easier it makes their commutes,” said Matt Newsome, Cubic’s vice president and regional director for the West Coast. “Clipper has something for everyone, particularly seniors, youth and the disabled who can benefit from discounted fares that are only available with the contactless Clipper card technology.”

Clipper is a regional fare collection system that utilizes the Clipper smart card for customers to add value to and pay their fares with one card on any of the regional services now linked via the Clipper system.   Participating operators include the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, San Francisco Muni, AC Transit, CalTrain, SamTrans, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority and the Golden Gate Bus and Ferry system.

In 2009, Cubic took over the contract for the original TransLink regional fare collection system, and in less than a year, helped MTC launch the new Clipper system. Cubic operates the customer call center, Clipper Card fulfillment and distribution, technical help desk, the retail merchant network, and the transit benefits system for employer/employee management of transit subsidies.

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