SEPTA says smartphone fare payment coming next year

Mark Abrams
December 23, 2019 - 8:46 am

PHILADELPHIA (KYW NEWSRADIO) — SEPTA is planning to roll out Apple Pay and Google Pay options on the transit system sometime in the first half of next year, so riders will be able to use smartphones to pay fares.

The transit agency has to re-configure its entire fare collection system, including fare boxes, turnstiles, and more than 4,200 SEPTA Key Validators to make the change.

SEPTA's Andrew Busch says they're not throwing the devices out altogether, just adjusting the hardware inside as well as installing new software.

"So folks will ultimately be able to use their phones if they choose to pay for a single fare right at the turnstile or on a farebox on a bus or a trolley as they get on," Busch said.

He says SEPTA will pay its vendor, Conduent, more than $4.3 million to make the changes.

He says the plan is to test the new electronic pay system this spring.

And when all the changes are made to the fare collection, Busch says SEPTA will roll out the new technology by late spring or early summer.