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Cubic’s eAccess unit delivers ‘limited-use’ cards for transit and building access
eAccess LLC, a subsidiary of Cubic Corp., announced on May 10 that it has received multiple card orders from major U.S. transit and building access customers for its secure, convenient Limited Use (LU) cards.
LU smart cards are placed in proximity to readers, rather than inserted into ticket slots on fare boxes and gates like magnetic tickets, providing a faster travel experience for patrons and decreased maintenance and support for transit agencies.
eAccess LU smart cards support the ISO/IEC 14443 and ANSL-410 standards for interoperability with other smart card types and Near Field Communications (NFC) applications. Convenient "easy open" packaging and a unique security shield reduce the risk of fraud and minimize inadvertent card reads or writes that activate fare charges.
eAccess LLC has recently delivered over a million LU smart cards supporting both the NXP Mifare-Ultralight and Kovio-2048 integrated circuits to both U.S. and international customers.
In the U.S., during the past year, eAccess provided significant quantities of LU cards to LA Metro, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PATH), South Florida, San Diego Metropolitan Transportation System and various other transit and non-transit applications.
LU cards are mostly sold through ticket/card vending machines or at newsstands and convenience shops. Users vary by region but primarily include occasional riders, the single or day riders, and visitors. Non-transit application integrators view the LU card as a means to provide better visitor security to buildings, manufacturing facilities and events.
In December, PATH became the latest U.S. transit agency to introduce and start using eAccess-supplied LU cards.
PATH has branded the Limited Use cards SmartLink Gray and they complement the full-featured plastic SmartLink smart card used by patrons who use the system regularly. Each SmartLink Gray card includes a Limited Use NXP-Ultralight smart card circuit encoded with either a 10-trip, 20-trip or 40-trip value.
The card is individually wrapped in clear cellophane with a unique silver-colored RF shield for security purposes. The packaging means the card can't be used until the security seal is broken, ensuring it is loaded with the full amount described on the packaging and the passenger cannot accidentally deduct a fare from the card.
"eAccess has the complete capability to supply, encode, assign expiration dates, package and perform database tracking of smart cards," said Jose Flores, eAccess vice president of marketing. "Our work for PATH positions us to serve many other RFID product requirements in New York and New Jersey, both transit and non-transit applications."
Walt Bonneau, chairman of eAccess, estimated that since 2005 well over 1.5 billion Limited Use cards have been sold around the world. Europe and North America are the largest users, but there is growing adoption in Asia and South America.
"LU cards have truly been a technology/product success for transit and other industries such as access security control," Bonneau said. "The convenience of having a secure, simple to buy and simple to use smart card media that is cost effective has not only been well received by the deploying agencies but by their patrons. On average, customers migrate from a magnetic or paper ticket to a Limited Use card within a few months of deployment. These LU deployments have been received much faster than previously introduced fare payment technology development."
eAccess has also seen continued growth in supplying full-featured smart cards and other RFID technology.
eAccess is part of Cubic Corp., which is the parent company of three major business segments: Defense Systems, Mission Support Services and Transportation Systems.