SEPTA changes fare collection for some suburban routes

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 (NewsWorks Photo, file)

(NewsWorks Photo, file)

Beginning Monday, SEPTA is changing the way it collects fares for bus and trolley rides to 69th Street Station.

The move appears to be common sense on the surface, collecting the fare as people board SEPTA buses and trolleys instead of at the end of their trip. SEPTA spokesman Manny Smith says the old way of collecting fares dates back to when people paid different amounts depending on how far they traveled.

“Back to the days when we had zone fares that allowed people to pay as they exited the vehicles,” Smtih said. “That was an inefficient process that slowed down the travel of the bus because people couldn’t exit by the rear doors and made buses wait longer at passenger stops.”

Eighteen routes, including the Norristown High Speed Line will be affected by the fare collection switch. Smith says it will help when the agency transitions to it’s new high-tech fare collection system.

“SEPTA has made a number of changes to our fare payment program overall that makes it simpler to transition to new payment technology when it is launched and this is one of them,” he said.

SEPTA says the electronic fare collection system will probably start rolling out in 2015.

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