SEPTA is promising a major overhaul in their fare system, so expect your tokens and magnetic paper tickets to be a thing of the past as early as 2014. The project, dubbed NPT (New Payment Technologies), will phase out the payment methods we're currently used to and replace them with an electronic-only system. "Paying for SEPTA will be just like paying for a pastry at Au Bon Pain," said John McGee, Chief Officer of SEPTA's NPT.
You can see these options already in play on the PATCO line that connects Philadelphia to South Jersey, which allows riders to use prepaid transit cards and debit/credit cards. SEPTA, however, is planning to also include the use of smartphone payments while phasing out cash fares altogether. Riders will be able to charge their cards with cash, but cashiers will no longer accept it.
Right now, SEPTA is the last major U.S. city with a transit system that uses tokens. It sounds like we should expect a panic-stricken switchover for the cash-only crowd, but tech-savvy riders should be pleasantly surprised with the number of new options.
· SEPTA NPT FAQ [SEPTA.org] http://www.septa.org/fares/npt/faq.html
· Last Public Transit System Using Tokens to Give Up the Clink [Next City] http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/last-public-transit-system-using-tokens-to-give-up-the-clink
— Zach Patten