The Southeastern Pennsylvania Port Authority (SEPTA) is borrowing $175 million from the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp to implement its new electronic fare system, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
After a two year standstill in which SEPTA unsuccessfully applied for government funding, the agency is looking to hire a contractor to begin installation by early summer. A full rollout of the contactless smart card-based system is expected to take another two to three years, says The Inquirer.
$100 million of the loan will go to one of three companies gunning for the contract to build and install the system: ACS Transport Solutions Group, Scheidt & Bachmann and Cubic Transportations Systems. The remaining $75 million will be used for upgrading existing electronics, infrastructure, and computer systems.
SEPTA hopes to eventually deliver a system that will allow commuters to pay with bank cards, contactless SEPTA cards or NFC-enabled handsets.
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