Clipper Card Transit-Payment System May Get $461-Million Update

Author:Bay City News Service

The Clipper card transit-payment system, originally designed in the late 1990s and used by San Francisco Bay Area commuters for BART, bus lines and more, may get a major update to improve equipment and technologies, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission announced today.

The commission’s operations committee has recommended approval of a $461 million contract proposal from the Clipper system’s creator, San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., to develop and implement a comprehensive update.

The proposal will go before the full commission Sept. 26.

The current Clipper system was originally launched in the Bay Area in 2006 under the TransLink name. Aging equipment and old technologies have made the system increasingly obsolete.

The update would modernize station card-readers in hundreds of stations and on thousands of buses and trains. It would offer mobile phone apps for reloading accounts, improve the system’s privacy protections and integrate with other transit providers like bike-share programs and Paratransit.

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