SEPTA announces plans to upgrade Key card system

The new system will feature an “open architecture” design to allow the transit agency to “make changes more nimbly and adapt to technologies,” SEPTA officials say.

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(Emma Lee/WHYY)

(Emma Lee/WHYY)

SEPTA is looking for a vendor for a new version of its electronic fare collection system, known as SEPTA Key.

The transit agency has already spent $236 million since embarking on the electronic fare collection program in 2011. The first fares started coming in electronically in 2016, but SEPTA said it needs a system that is more compatible with the newest available payment programs.

“The new system is going to be designed with an open architecture. It’s going to allow us to make changes more nimbly and adapt to technologies as they change,” Andrew Busch, SEPTA’s director of media, said. “It’s going to allow us to move quicker as we see trends moving, and as we people adapting to new payment methods. ”

Busch added the transit agency is continuing to improve SEPTA Key.

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“We already have plans to start toward the middle, or later this year, to at least be able to start the process of allowing people to use their cards, to use their phones — even before we award this new contract,” he said.

Busch said SEPTA has spoken to about 20 firms that “could be bidders in the process.”  Firms have until July 14 to submit proposals for review.

Conduent Transportation, the current provider of electronic fare collection, issued a statement Wednesday saying, “Conduent Transportation is proud to support SEPTA in providing the latest technologies and services to enhance its ticketing and fare collection system to enable faster and more convenient travel for its customers. We also look forward to continuing to support SEPTA as it introduces, in the months to come, additional payment options for travelers.”

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