SEPTA’s (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority) proposed smart card fare system has met some resistance from passenger advocates, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Essentially, the proposition entails railway passengers taking a free train into the Philadelphia’s Center City station and paying a roundtrip fare on ride home, reports The Inquirer.
Mathew Mitchell of the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers calls this system an “open invitation to legal fare evasion,” since passengers could just ride the free train into Center City and then take a less expensive ride home via bus or subway.
The new system would also reduce the number of rail zones from seven to five, comprising Center City, Zone 1, Zone 2, Zone 3, and New Jersey.
According to SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey, prospective bidders for the contract to provide the system are being asked to come up with their own solutions.
Casey, who told the Inquirer that he shares some of Mitchell’s concerns about the proposition as it stands, said public hearings will be held before the contract for the smart-card fare system is given out early next year.
According to The Inquirer, the system is expected to cost $77 million, and will take several years to install on SEPTA buses, subways, trolleys and trains.
Read more here.