STATE OF THE ART AUTOMATED FARE COLLECTION SYSTEM APPROVED FOR BOSTON, USA
John Laing Group (“John Laing”), the international active investor and partner behind responsible infrastructure has used its active asset management expertise to deliver a state-of-the-art plan for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (“MBTA”) that will result in improvements to fare collection and travel across all modes of public transport on the MBTA.
The MBTA fare and ticketing upgrade project, won by a consortium of John Laing and Cubic Transportation Systems, a business division of Cubic Corporation (“Cubic”), in 2018, has matured in ambition as all parties have striven to deliver a practical and future-proofed solution to the travelling public. 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 Boston use a combination of buses, subway, commuter rail, light rail and ferries, all operated by MBTA on legacy fare and ticketing systems. To accommodate additional features and to implement a more phased roll out of the fare collection system improvements, MBTA, John Laing and Cubic have jointly decided to expand and upgrade the project.
The project enhancement has been facilitated by John Laing’s years of experience of working flexibly to deliver complex projects, even within the confines of existing PPP deals. This approach requires pragmatism and a focus on what will deliver the best results for clients and users in the long-term. The company’s financing experience and long-standing, positive banking relationships have helped to secure this plan, which is the first major greenfield P3 financing in the US market since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. The upgraded financing, which utilises short and medium-term commercial bank debt, also includes modest additional equity commitments from John Laing and Cubic.
John Laing Asset Director David Wylie said, “This is an ambitious project which will bring sustainable benefits to the Greater Boston community and its visitors. Seamless and faster travel will make public transportation a preferred option, as well as protecting the revenue of the service for the MBTA. I am very proud of the John Laing delivery team on the ground who have worked tirelessly to bring a major greenfield P3 reset in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis. Reaching a strong conclusion in the current environment has underpinned our structuring capability and demonstrated our strong relationships with key financial and operating partners.”
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