PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – SEPTA is hitting the road to ask riders what they think about a new system for collecting fares.

The transit agency unveiled a new, narrated PowerPoint presentation Thursday that outlines plans to give riders a chance to use a variety of electronic means to pay their fares in the future.

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“What we are hoping to do with this project is to frankly leap frog most of the other cities in the United States, if not the world, in terms of technology,” SEPTA’s Richard Maloney said.

Specifically, SEPTA is preparing to move ahead to upgrade equipment and buy some new equipment to let riders pay their fares with so-called contact-less bank debit or credit cards or cell phones.

The system will still accept cash, officials agreed, but there may come a time — years from now — when even that might change.

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SEPTA hopes to roll out the technology in the next two-and-a-half to three years.

Right now, it’s looking to gather public input on its plan as it also studies the technology being offered by vendors to accomplish the task.

Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio

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