SEPTA on Definite Track to Install new Fare System

SEPTA is finally on track to change over its outdated fare system to a new smart card system.  The entire system is scheduled to be in full effect late fall of 2014.  As of now the project is not even close to halfway complete, but we are not complaining, any progress is good progress.

SEPTA awarded a $129.5 million contract last November to ACS Transport Solutions Group of Columbia, Md.  much of the work has been invisible, with designers and consultants drawing up plans and timetables.  SEPTA currently has a laboratory set up for testing prototypes of new fare equipment on the 18th floor of its Center City headquarters.  A hallway there is lined with poster-size sheets detailing 5,600 steps that must be completed to make the smart-card system a reality.

Work will become more visible over the next few months on the fare system and $84 million in companion projects, such as new control centers and elevator modifications.  By spring, workers will begin installing new subway turnstiles with card-reading screens that will eventually replace all of the current turnstiles that accept tokens and magnetic swipe cards.  Simultaneously SEPTA's bus fleet will be outfitted with new fare boxes that can read the smart cards.

The new system will be one of the first in the country to use an "open" fare design, allowing riders to use a contact-less bank card, instead of a "closed" system that accepts only cards issued by the transit authority.  Chip-equipped cards will also be issued for riders to use.  You will even be able to pay with certain smart phones.

Following a 30-day evaluation period, the public will begin to use the system next fall/  SEPTA first will replace half of its subway turnstiles with the new equipment, to allow riders to shift slowly from old to new.  By January 2014, all 386 new turnstiles and 121 handicapped-accessible fare gates are to be in place in subway stations and 1,852 fare boxes are to be in buses and trolleys.  At the same time more than 200 vending machines will be installed in subway stations and bus terminals to sell the new smart cards and one-day magnetic-strip tickets for occasional riders.

Source: Philly.com

1 comment:

  1. Smart cards can be electronic key rings, giving the bearer ability to access information and physical places without need for online connections. The important benefit of smart cards is their inbuilt security. They offer protection of information that is stored on them.