Transit News

SEPTA makes headway on the implementation of its new fare card system Thursday, when the SEPTA Board's administration committee reviewed a $9.2 million consulting contract with LTK Engineering Services.  LTK will be providing management support for the contract and assist in task like testing out smart card equipment both in the front and back ends of the system.

Money to pay for the contract will come out of a $175 million loan fund administered by the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. that will also pay for the construction and installation of the system itself.  That contract, expected to cost about $100 million, is still expected to be awarded by the end of the summer.  Meanwhile SEPTA is waiting for a report by the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, which is consulting stakeholders on how the regional rail system will operate with the new fare card.  

It should take several years before the system is fully operational.  Several years is too long considering how out of date we are compared to our sister cities, New York and D.C.  This should have been an issue 10 years ago. To think that we will probably have to wait until 2014 before we see at least a smart card system for city transit is unthinkable.  We should be tapping our credit cards or paying with mobile phones by then.  Philadelphia has to do better than this....