Seek assurances from your suppliers and sub-contractors, that their production and manufacturing schedules will meet your project schedule and inventory requirements throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Orlando, Florida's experience with a Field Operational Test (FOT) on using a single smart card for transportation payments at facilities operated by multiple regional agencies.

Orlando,Florida,United States

Background (Show)

Lesson Learned

The ORANGES experience demonstrated that limiting the number of customers using multiple-application electronic payment systems (through limited smart card availability) can negatively effect the impact of an ITS Field Operational Test (FOT). This limitation can also lower customer satisfaction of the system if initial (or replacement) cards are not readily available. This experience highlighted some problems that prevented the adequate supply of smart cards and related equipment, and suggests some strategies for avoiding these problems.

Accordingly, the ORANGES experience provides the following guidance:
  • Order more smart cards than the partners initially think they will need. Make a liberal estimate of card requirements for the initial card order, to avoid card re-supply delays during the cardholder recruitment period. For example, after the requirement for maintaining 800-1000 active cards throughout the 12-month demonstration period was established, the agencies attempted to order more smart cards from the supplier (Gemplus) to supplement the original order of 2100 cards. However, the production of this particular type of card had been discontinued. This was an issue because the replacement card type offered by the supplier was not compatible with the original card type, and its use would have required additional development expense (in terms of time and money) to integrate the new smart card into the program (which the FOT was not in a position to undertake). As Gemplus demonstrated here, card products can be discontinued before the replacement product is available – or conceivably without offering a replacement at all – and with little warning to current customers. In deciding how many cards to order initially, the implementation team had mistakenly assumed that they would be able to order additional cards if needed.
  • Plan for a sufficient supply of smart cards throughout the life cycle. It is important to seek assurances from your suppliers and sub-contractors that their production and manufacturing schedules will meet your project schedule. Include provisions in initial supplier agreements to guarantee the option to purchase additional cards throughout the project lifecycle, or to alternatively allow the project to migrate to a newer generation of cards and readers in a cost effective manner.
Developing a regional smart card payment system is related to the ITS Goal of improving customer satisfaction, through making payments for multimodal travel easier by establishing a regional payment method. An adequate ongoing supply of cards is an essential element in maintaining customer satisfaction; since a customer will likely lose interest in using the system if a card (or replacement card) is unavailable for an extended period.

The participating cardholders generally expressed a positive opinion about the technology, with concerns focusing primarily on the limited scale of deployment. The card availability issue limited the number of customers that could participate, but had no effect on the system performance experienced by cardholders (unless they needed a replacement card).

The ORANGES experience demonstrated that ensuring a sufficient and predictable supply of smart cards when developing a regional smart card payment system is critical for ensuring adequate numbers of customers for this type of ITS system. The examples above show different strategies and techniques for ordering cards, and working with vendors to ensure adequate card supplies. If these strategies and techniques are followed, stakeholders involved in other similar ITS projects will be more likely to avoid the pit falls associated with insufficient smart-card supplies.

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Orlando Regional Alliance for Next Generation Electronic Payment Systems (ORANGES) Evaluation Final Report: Electronic Payment Systems Field Operational Test

Author: Moniz, Leisa M. (Volpe) et al.

Published By: U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration

Source Date: 8/1/2004

EDL Number: 14268

URL: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/4314

Other Lessons From this Source

Lesson Contacts

Lesson Contact(s):

Leisa Moniz
U.S. DOT/RITA/John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
(617) 494-3793

Agency Contact(s):

Doug Jamison
Central Florida Regional Transportation Authority (LYNX)
(407) 254-6071

Lesson Analyst:

Jane Lappin
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center


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Benefits From This Source

In Central Florida, focus group participants involved in a smart card study using a single card for multiple payment applications indicated that the card provided convenience and improved their transportation experience.

Lessons From This Source

Develop a detailed cardholder recruitment plan in the planning phase of the project, to provide guidance on processes to set pricing, and to ensure high user involvement and loyalty.

Establish a clear understanding among all partners on the level of technical support to be provided by suppliers and integrators, as equipment provided in-kind or at a reduced cost is often provided with minimal technical support.

Establish a forum for decision-makers and project managers to come together to receive project updates, work through critical project issues, make decisions, and support successful institutional collaboration in a project involving multiple agencies.

Include significant planning and development time in the overall project schedule to accommodate identifying and addressing the various compatibility issues, to integrate existing legacy system equipment across multiple agencies.

Provide for large sample sizes when conducting before/after data collection efforts, to avoid impacting the ability to reveal statistically significant differences during the evaluation's statistical analysis.

Seek assurances from your suppliers and sub-contractors, that their production and manufacturing schedules will meet your project schedule and inventory requirements throughout the lifecycle of the project.

Lesson ID: 2006-00191