The Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority has awarded a $184 million contract to
upgrade its fare payment system to include mobile and contactless payments.
The new system will widen payment options from Metro’s existing contactless SmartTrip cards to include EMV chip-enabled credit cards, federal government ID cards, and NFC-enabled mobile phones. However, the system will not accept paper tickets.
“While Metro pioneered the tap-and-go system we currently use, by today’s standards that system is cumbersome and the technology is not sustainable,” Richard Sarles, Metro’s General Manager and CEO, said in a statement.
Accenture will provide management consulting expertise in mobility, analytics, customer service, payments, financial services, retail and marketing science. The system will be built using the Accenture Fare Management Solution, based on commercially off-the-shelf software products. It will use an open architecture that supports a range of payment options and will be flexible for future payment technology, Accenture said.
Metro anticipates lower ongoing maintenance costs as a result of the more modern, component-based technology. Travel transactions and fare calculations will be performed by a central data system which is easier to maintain and manage, according to Accenture.
Later in 2014, Accenture plans to carry out a pilot of the program in 10 Metrorail stations, aboard 50 branded-route Metrobuses, and in two parking lots. Additionally, 2,000 Metro riders will be selected to participate in the pilot program to test the performance and reliability of the new system.
Accenture set up the PRESTO e-fare system for Toronto’s Go Transit, and was involved in the implementation of Trans Link Systems, a fare management joint venture between the five largest Dutch public transport companies.
Metro provides rail, bus and para-transit services to a 1,500-square mile area that includes Washington DC, and surrounding jurisdictions in Maryland and Virginia.
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