Smart Card Reader Procurement

Smart Card Reader Procurement

San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), Oakland, CA
Station Agent Terminal (SAT) Smart Card Reader/Encoder Development

Acumen is developing a custom Station Agent Terminal (SAT) smart card reader/encoder for BART. This process involves creating and prototyping a unique smart card reader/encoder that meets BART’s specific requirements, including cross compatibility with a BART-specified selection of smart cards from multiple card manufacturers, the inclusion of Security Application Modules, and Federal Communications Commission compliance.

The SAT smart card reader/encoder functions as a peripheral device connected to a BART Station Agent Terminal computer. As such, Acumen staff developed a Software Development Kit application to send commands from BART computers to the SAT smart card reader/encoder under the Microsoft Windows operating system.

The command sets were segregated between firmware commands used to convey state and parameter information to the SAT reader/encoder itself, and those that were “pass-through” commands from the Station Agent Terminal computer software application directly to the contactless smart cards, and BART proprietary commands that are translated by the reader firmware to equivalent card commands.

During the design review process, Acumen worked with various members of BART staff, including individuals from Fare Collection Engineering and Station Operations. Feedback was provided on everything from the physical housing, access to internal components, and software interfaces. Additional documentation outside of the scope of work was also agreed upon, and additional software tools for BART’s use in software development were delivered. Additional development hardware will also be delivered to BART.

The first part of the procurement requires the delivery of five SAT prototypes for BART evaluation and use in developing software applications. Once the prototypes are complete, BART has the option to purchase an additional 60 readers under the terms of the existing contract. These 60 readers will be installed at all of BART’s 44 stations and used by Station Agents in reading all legacy cards used in the system.