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MBTA Fare Transformation Program Finalizes Contract Amendment

Posted on June 18, 2020

On Monday, the MBTA and the Cubic | John Laing consortium finalized the contract amendment memorializing the terms and conditions necessary to fulfill the direction and authorization provided by the Fiscal and Management Control Board on April 27, 2020. This contract amendment completes the process started on December 9, 2019, when the Fiscal and Management Control Board approved a revised strategy for the Fare Transformation Program. The contract amendment signed Monday incorporates improvements to the original “AFC 2.0” contract based on feedback from customers, advocates, and policy makers. 

“We’re pleased to have reached this major milestone in our continued efforts to completely transform the T’s fare payment system, and critical to that effort is incorporating the feedback we’ve received from our riders and stakeholders,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “I want to thank the Fare Transformation Program team for their diligent work on this achievement, our partners Cubic | John Laing for their collaboration in adapting these changes, and our riders especially, for providing feedback that allows us to deliver a fare system that best their needs.”

The amended contract includes both the capital cost of the new system and 10 years of operations and maintenance with options for 2 additional 5-year terms. The amended contract also incorporates agreed-upon schedule milestones and incentives for milestone achievement. The terms of the amended contract signed Monday are consistent with the pricing and strategic “reset” approach presented to and approved by the Fiscal and Management Control Board on April 27, 2020.

The new timeline for the rollout allots more time for both testing and installation of the new system and for customer migration with a more phased approach to fare collection system changes. The new system will offer a variety of new options for fare collection and fare payment, and will enable easier modifications to fare policies such as those that could be used in the recent COVID-19 pandemic.  

“This achievement is the result of hard work by a wide variety of people,” said MBTA Chief Transformation Officer Ron Renaud. “This included customers and advocates who provided valuable feedback, our project team who worked to synthesize that feedback into updated requirements, and our partners at Cubic | John Laing who worked with us to amend the contract to make these changes.”
The overall phased Fare Transformation Program includes many near- and long-term improvements, including:

  • The ability to pay for a trip on all Zone 1A stations on the Fairmount Commuter Rail Line with a CharlieCard – which will be available on Monday, June 22, 2020;
  • Deploying fare vending machines that dispense CharlieCards;
  • All-door boarding on MBTA buses and surface stops along the Green Line;
  • Integrating ferries and the entire Commuter Rail network into the CharlieCard system.

Over the long-term, the program will establish a larger, thoughtful network of retail sales outlets and fare vending machines centered on the needs of T customers. The MBTA intends to significantly expand the network for all forms of payment.

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