John Laing is a 90% equity shareholder of Boston AFC 2.0 OpCo, the project company responsible for delivering a comprehensive upgrade and modernisation of the fare collection and ticketing system for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), working in partnership with Cubic Transportation Systems (a division of Cubic Corporation). The project is being delivered as a Public Private Partnership (P3), with the consortium appointed to design, build, operate and maintain a next-generation fare payment system which will bring sustainable benefits to the Greater Boston community and its visitors.

As the challenges of population growth and urbanisation have put greater pressure on major cities, the demand for a simpler through-ticketing and fare collection system has increased: currently travellers in Greater Boston use a combination of buses, subway, commuter rail, light rail and ferries, all operated by MBTA on legacy fare and ticketing systems.

The upgrade includes account-based ticketing using mobile and contactless bank card options for the region’s multi-modal transit system. Seamless and faster travel will encourage greater use of public transportation, as well as protecting the revenue of the service for the MBTA.

Originally awarded to the consortium in 2017, financial close was reached in early 2018 and the project was subsequently expanded in scope in the first half of 2020.

This expansion reflected a maturing in ambition, and included additional features as well as a more phased roll out of the fare collection system improvement in order to deliver a practical and future-proofed solution to the travelling public.