SEPTA has again pushed back the final date for potential vendors to submit proposals for a new smart-card fare collection system.
The new deadline is Sept. 30, replacing a Sept. 1 deadline.
The authority had originally set a deadline for March 17 and has pushed it back several times in response to vendor questions about the specifics of the system.
SEPTA had said in the past that it was expecting to push back the Sept. 1 deadline in response to further vendor questions.
Though in the past potential bidders had mainly technical questions for the authority, this time around their questions focused mostly on funding issues, according to SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.
He said that, in light of the potential loss of Act 44 guaranteed transportation funding at the end of the fiscal year, the bidders wanted further guidance on the types of novel funding solutions SEPTA has asked them to bring to the table. The authority has asked each of the bidders to come up with ideas for funding the project with private money.
The new smart card system is expected to cost about $100 million and, when completed, will allow swipeless access to SEPTA buses, trolleys and trains with new fare cards, credit cards and even specialized cell phones.
SEPTA is also planning, at this point, to go ahead with the project even with the loss of Act 44 funding, Busch said.
Posted by Anthony Campisi