By Mike DeNardo

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA fares are going up, and the transit agency is announcing big changes in the way it collects them.

SEPTA says it’s the last major US transit agency to use tokens. But, effective July 2014, tokens will be a thing of the past. Fares are going up this July 1 — city transit cash fares from $2 to $2.25, tokens from $1.55 to $1.80 (see related story).

And between now and July 2014, SEPTA will phase in smart-card fare collection, says John McGee, SEPTA’s chief of New Payment Technology.

“You can load it online, you can go to a sales office if you’d like to. You’ll be able to go to a vending machine. You can be riding on one of our vehicles and do a virtual transaction right then and there.”

McGee says the new technology will move cashiers out of the booth.

“Our cashiers will have the opportunity, instead of being gatekeepers as they are today, to take on a role of more of a greeter to provide information to customers.”

READ: Mass Transit Advocate Mostly Upbeat On SEPTA’s Fare/Payment Overhaul

Gender designations on transpasses will also disappear. Regional Rail riders will experience a cultural shift next year. Not only are fare zones being shifted, but riders will have to tap their smartcards to open the fare gates that are being installed.

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