NEW DELHII, INDIA: Cubic Corp. announced today that it has established a new subsidiary in India -- Cubic Transportation Systems (India) Pvt Ltd -- and is entering this dynamic regional market with a five-month trial of Cubic's smart card-based fare collection technology aboard buses in Delhi.
Cubic's new office in the growing high-tech hub of Hyderabad, India, will pursue automated fare collection systems and services business throughout the country and provide software development support for transportation projects worldwide.
The smart card trial started in November as part of the Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System (DIMTS), a joint initiative of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) and the Infrastructure Development Finance Co. (IDFC) to deliver world-class urban transportation infrastructure for India's capital region.
Cubic installed and integrated its smart card technology aboard new low-floor air-conditioned buses on one of the many bus routes operated by the Delhi Transport Corporation, which oversees operations for the GNCTD. DTC is expanding its bus fleet to more than 11,000 buses.
Cubic provided approximately 5,000 smart cards, as well as smart card validators, and its open-architecture Driver Control Unit, an 'on-bus' processing platform that integrates -- in one single device -- automatic fare collection (AFC) and intelligent transportation system applications such as GPS-based vehicle tracking, passenger counting and security systems.
The new technology received excellent news coverage. According to The Hindu newspaper, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said using a common smart card "would make travel comfortable for commuters as they would not have to buy a ticket from the conductor every time, and therefore the hassle of cash and change would be eliminated."
Delhi Transport Commissioner R.K. Verma said, "The AFC technology for the pilot is based on the well-proven London Oyster Card and other implementations worldwide. We are hoping that ultimately we will bring an excellent AFC platform to Delhi commuters."
"DIMTS is pleased to bring smart card technology to the Delhi buses. We are evaluating the smart card system in the Indian environment and look forward to implementing a world-class AFC solution in Delhi," said S.N. Sahai, Managing Director of Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System Limited (DIMTS).
The fast pace of the smart card technology -- it can complete transactions in a fraction of a second -- suits India, which is one of the fastest-expanding economies in the world. Several of India's largest cities are planning major infrastructure improvements.
The Cubic system piloted in Delhi is based on contactless RFID technology that Cubic has implemented in major transport systems around the world including London, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco and Brisbane, Australia.
Cubic's Oyster Card, for example, operates aboard approximately 8,000 buses and in more than 250 rail stations in the greater London area, a number that will grow in January 2010 when the Oyster Card will begin to be accepted on services across the national rail network around London.
In addition, Cubic developed the "go card" for South East Queensland, which is used for bus, rail and ferry travel in that region. Delhi transit officials have studied both of these systems as they work to improve Delhi's transportation infrastructure prior to its hosting of the October 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Smart card-based fare collection systems offer a way to stem the losses and equipment maintenance costs that can occur with cash operations while offering the convenience of seamless, intermodal travel to passengers.
They allow transit planners to track how many passengers are using a particular rail line, ferry, bus route or parking facility, ensuring existing resources are used wisely and also plan future expansion of services. Smart card systems are also a good way for local governments and private companies to provide transportation benefits to their workers.
"With all the major cities in India involved in Metro infrastructure projects, and with large bus fleets to modernize, Cubic Transportation Systems is already presenting and positioning for future awards. We are also exploring business with Indian Railways," said Kishan Kamojjhala, Cubic's Managing Director for the India start-up.