The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) is planning a real-world test of its long-awaited fare collection system upgrade, according to a local news report.
SEPTA riders should begin to see evidence that the transit agency is making progress by as early as this fall. Whether they are boarding a bus, train, or subway, it’s going to be a convenient, contactless, with (hopefully) as little cash as possible system, said SEPTA officials.
Commuters can purchase a SEPTA-branded card, a non-SEPTA-branded card, and transit officials also demonstrated how a smart phone enabled with NFC technology could be used as a ticket. It makes it easier for commuters, because they won’t be fumbling for cash.
The first test of the $200 million upgrade – a $129.5 million contract with Xerox subsidiary ACS, and companion projects including exit gate construction, fare box upgrades, and the laying of fiber optic lines – is expected in October, when SEPTA and Xerox workers will try Validators installed in five transit stations and on 100 buses.
By April 2014, SEPTA said the project will be live on buses, trolleys, and subways. Regional Rail roll out is expected in the fall of 2014.