San Francisco late last week became the fourth city to roll out Cubic Transportation Systems’ mobile contactless-payment application, joining Washington D.C., Chicago, and Los Angeles. Consumers can use the white-label app and an iPhone or Apple Watch to purchase tickets from the 24 transit agencies that operate the city’s subway, bus, ferry, and light-rail systems.
Transit agencies in the Bay area are overseen by San Francisco’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which has named the app Clipper. Cubic Transportation Systems has provided its card-based fare system to the Metropolitan Transportation Commission since 2009.
Once a fare card is downloaded to the Clipper app, riders can tap their iPhone or Apple Watch at fare gates and fare boxes to pay. In addition, the app allows consumers to view their card balance, plan their journey, see their transaction history, and automatically reload value by linking a credit card to the app. In May, Cubic Transportation Systems plans to make the app compatible with Google Pay as well. Consumers in Los Angeles can currently download the app to Android phones as well as iPhones.
“We see contactless payments as a way to help bring back ridership and help consumers rebound from the pandemic by reducing physical contact and standing in line at ticket-vending machines and eliminating touchpoints,” says Matt Newsome, senior vice president and general manager for Cubic Transportation Systems.
Cubic Transportation Systems will continue to support the sale of contactless fare cards for consumers that don’t have a compatible phone or that don’t want to use the app, but do want contactless fare payments. Consumers can purchase the fare cards using a credit or debit card as well as with cash.
“We designed the system to be equitable so that all consumers can have access to it, and enabling cash purchases ensures that people without cards can have access to the applications,” Newsome says.
In addition to its contactless-payment mobile app, Cubic Transportation Systems enables contactless card fare systems for transit agencies in Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, London, Vancouver, and Sydney and Brisbane, Australia. Consumers in those cities can purchase contactless fare cards or pay their fare with a contactless credit card or mobile wallet. Newsome says that CTS is talking with its other transit-agency clients about rolling out its mobile app.