Cubic Corp., which provides electronics for mass transit systems around the world, will soon help answer the question on New Yorkers’ lips: When in the world is the bus going to arrive?
The San Diego company said it recently received a deal valued at nearly $27 million to supply specialized electronics to the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Those electronics, which incorporate GPS and cellular modems, will go on city buses to let them communicate their locations to central servers.
Riders can then consult the system, called MTA Bus Time, to find when a bus will be coming to a specific stop. They can access the system via their desktop computer or smartphone, or they can request a text message.
Another vendor has already installed similar equipment on buses serving the Bronx and Staten Island.
Cubic plans to install its equipment on 3,800 buses serving Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
The company will tackle engineering and design work on the hardware in San Diego. It will manufacture the electronics near Nashville, Tenn.
Installation will keep a team of more than 20 New York-based technicians busy between June and the end of the year, said Cubic Transportation Systems’ Steve Brunner. Brunner is the unit’s vice president and regional director for the East Coast and Mid-Atlantic region.
Brunner said Cubic will service its equipment for three years.
The service is reportedly a hit.
The New York Daily News recently reported that over a 10 month period, 38,000 bus riders in Staten Island received arrival information by text. “That’s more than 30 percent of Staten Island’s bus riding population — an extraordinary usage rate,” Amanda Moskowitz told the Daily News. Moskowitz is general manager of Mobile Commons, a Brooklyn company which runs the texting component of MTA Bus Time.
The transit agency is reportedly making the bus location data freely available for programmers who want to integrate it into new software applications.
San Diego readers and commuters may be more familiar with Cubic’s fare collection systems. Cubic’s Smart Card systems are in place in San Diego, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, the New York metropolitan area, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Miami. Foreign customers include transit authorities in London; Sydney, Australia; and Vancouver, Canada.
Kearny Mesa-based Cubic reported revenue of $1.38 billion in 2012, up from $1.3 billion in 2011.
The corporation splits its business three ways. The transportation systems unit had 2012 revenue of $514 million. Defense systems had $375 million in revenue in the same period. Mission support services — which is essentially the service component of Cubic’s defense business — had $491 million in 2012 revenue.
Shares of Cubic trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol CUB.
Analyst Josephine Millward of Benchmark Co. LLC recently rated Cubic stock as a “hold,” giving it a price target of $46. The company can expect margin pressure in both its defense and transportation segments, she said.
Millward expects total revenue to slide slightly to $1.37 billion this year and grow to $1.4 billion in 2014.
The analyst’s forecast has the transportation segment growing slightly to $518 million this year and $544 million in 2014.