SEPTA delays smartcard fare system field trial

 Stakeholders observe a demonstration of the smartcard system. (Photo courtesy of SEPTA)

Stakeholders observe a demonstration of the smartcard system. (Photo courtesy of SEPTA)

SEPTA is delaying a test in its New Payment Technology (NPT) system — that’s the name for a planned smartcard based fare system.

Officials are saying they do not think it will delay implementing it for bus and train riders.

In adition to smartcards, the NPT will give riders the ability to pay their fares using smartphones.

SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch says the transit agency is pushing back a test that was supposed to start about now.

“What’s going on is Xerox, which is the contractor that is working with us to implement the project, is making some revisions to the new equipment that is going to be installed,” said Busch.

Busch says they’re making changes to the fare card readers and the new gates that are going to be installed.

“The equipment has to hold up to extreme temperatures, rain, snow the whole bit,” he said. “Because of that the process goes through revisions, we’ve gone through a couple of revisions.”

These changes come in response to using a mock set up at SEPTA headquarters. Busch says tests at an actual station should happen in October.

If all goes well, implementation will begin next Spring.

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