SEPTA reveals plans to expand mobile payments for transit ticketing in Philadelphia

SEPTA Philadelphia bus
TICKETING UPGRADE: Philadelphia plans to expand the ticketing options for public transport users

South East Philadelphia Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in the US is planning to upgrade or replace its SEPTA Key transit card system in order to offer passengers on its bus, trolley and rail networks in the Greater Philadelphia region a wider range of transit ticketing options.

The authority has revealed that it intends to implement a new system — currently known as SEPTA Key 2.0 — in a request for information (RFI) document which states that the system’s “additional functionalities” could include “expanded use of mobile devices; enhanced mobile ticketing and mobile payments; integration with other mobility providers; and expanded open payment functionalities”.

The RFI shows that SEPTA is considering a range of options for its fare payments data centre and “encourages open architecture to provide alternative sales channels and to integrate with paratransit, micro-transit, building access and parking”.

The authority has already begun upgrading its infrastructure to make it compatible with mobile payments and could begin pilot testing mobile fare payments in the autumn, according to a report by local media outlet Philly Voice.

“Part of the RFI is going to be getting responses from vendors who are working on similar systems elsewhere. This will give us a picture of what’s going on elsewhere, what’s working and what people are expecting moving forward,” SEPTA’s Andrew Busch told the publication.

“Experienced vendors” and other interested parties have until 9 August to respond to the RFI.

SEPTA first announced that it was planning to roll out mobile ticketing in January 2020.

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