Motorola Inc. and ERG Ltd. have jointly won a contract from BVG, the Berlin Transport Authority, to conduct a field trial of a smart- card-based electronic ticketing system.

S-Bahn Berlin, the German capital's rapid transit system, and VBB, the transportation authority of Berlin-Brandenburg, will also participate in the three- to six-month test scheduled to start in October.

The program would involve 25,000 cardholders, two subway lines, two bus routes, and a tram line, with anticipated daily transaction volume of 150,000.

ERG, an Australian company that is renowned in the smart card world for its system in Hong Kong handling four million transit transactions a day, will be responsible for the back-office technology.

Motorola will provide M-Smart Venus, a card and reader system that supports multiple applications, enabling the transit card to hold loyalty points and accommodate other types of transactions.

The same alliance recently won a $78 million contract for fare collection in Singapore, expected to encompass 3,750 buses and five million smart cards by 2002.

"BVG will be the first European public transport provider to offer its customers added value via their transit cards," said Francois Dutray, vice president and general manager of Motorola's worldwide smart card solutions division. Of Singapore, he said, "we are committed to making the project a showcase for the smart card industry."

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