By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It may have taken years, but this past week, the SEPTA Board finally signed off on a multi-million dollar contract to bring smartcards to the massive transit system.

The SEPTA Board awarded a nearly $130-million contract to bring the system smartcards and smartcard readers. General Manager Joe Casey says financial constraints were part of the reason that SEPTA is only doing this now, several years after most other transit systems. But he says the delay brings a bonus, since they’ll get a more open system that allows passengers to have cash values stored not just on cards, but also on an EZ-Pass key fob, a bank card, or even on your smartphone.

“You can actually use your smartphone and gain access to our system, and it will be charged against your telephone account,” Casey explains.

But is this the death knell for tokens?

“Yes, it is,” Casey laughs.

Casey hopes to have smartcard technology up and running on all buses, trains and trolleys in about three years.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

Top Content On CBSPhilly

More From CBS Philly

Latest Videos
Latest Forecast

Watch & Listen LIVE