TfL Cubic agreement

London’s contactless ticketing developed by Cubic could soon see use worldwide

TfL Cubic agreement
Since the introduction of contactless payment over 500 million journeys have been made. Photo: Stuart Monk /

The company that designed Transport for London’s contactless ticketing technology, Cubic Transportation Systems, has secured a deal allowing them to implement the same systems elsewhere in the world.

Cubic introduced the Oyster card system to London in 2003 and expanded the system to accept debit card contactless payment in 2012.

Since the introduction of contactless payment, more than 12 million cards from 90 countries have been used to make over 500 million journeys across bus, rail and tube services in London.

The agreement between TfL and Cubic is one London Mayor Sadiq Khan had promised earlier in his tenure as mayor.

"I made a firm commitment to sell Transport for London’s expertise around the globe," Khan says.

"We will use the income from those deals for further investment in new infrastructure and to freeze TfL fares."

Cubic almost had another foothold on the public transport sector in Australia during their application to run the Myki system in Victoria.

Despite having a Melbourne team working on the tender, they were unsuccessful in their endeavour.

President of Cubic Matthew Cole says companies and organisations need to work together to create better systems to move people around in cities.

"The challenges of mobility in 21st century cities – including access for all, inclusion, environmental concerns and the pressure of ever-growing populations - can only be met through cooperation and partnership," he says.

"No single entity has all the answers and this agreement between Cubic and TfL sets a new standard in public/private partnerships for addressing these issues, and acknowledges the success of account-based payment for transit for which there is clear interest from many cities across the world."

Shashi Verma, chief technology officer and director of customer experience at TfL says she is delighted other cities can benefit from the success of London’s system.

"Contactless payments have completely transformed the way people pay for travel in London and this deal will allow other world cities to benefit from the hard work we put into making the system work for our customers."

Cubic also manages the Opal card in Sydney, the Go card system in south-east Queensland, as well as systems in Vancouver and Chicago.

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