SEPTA Is About Ready To Join the Late 20th Century, Collect Fares Using “Technology”


Plan Philly reports that SEPTA is now testing “new payment technology” systems that can read cards and devices (like smartphones) with NFC chips, allowing it to collect fares electronically and phase out tokens. Apparently they mean it this time.

Under the current timeline, SEPTA will have half of the NPT equipment installed on buses, trolleys and subways in the spring of 2014. At that time, SEPTA will begin to phase out tokens and will start the switch to new media. By this time next year, summer 2014, SEPTA expects to have NPT equipment installed on all buses, trolleys and subways. Once installation is complete, tokens will no longer be accepted.

In the fall of 2014, SEPTA will begin transitioning to new fare media on regional rail, a move that, as PlanPhilly reported previously, will be slightly more complicated than the switch to NPT on buses, subways and trolleys.

A SEPTA official added: “That ball of steam isn’t as large as we’d like, but we’re still moving along.” Remarkably he was talking about the NPT implementation and not about any of SEPTA’s bus, train, or trolley routes.