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SEPTA announced Thursday in a press release that they will borrow $175 million dollars from the nonprofit Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation to implement an electronic fare system that can abolish tokens once and for all.

College freshman Jen Chaquette rides the SEPTA biweekly to her internship in Center City. Her only criticism of the current rail system was its outdated technology. “The only thing I wish they had now is some sort of pass so I do not have to pay cash or carry tons of tokens,” she said. “It’s very annoying.”

The smart card system will allow SEPTA riders to purchase tickets on the train from bank cards, mobile devices and other “smart” technologies.

“Today’s action by the SEPTA Board marks a major milestone in our efforts to provide our loyal customers with state-of-the-art, convenient and efficient service,” SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey said in the board’s press release. The SEPTA Board also borrowed $250 million in federal bonds to add 120 new Regional Rail railcars to the current fleet, as well as renovate 110-year-old Wayne Junction station, located at 4481 Wayne Ave. in North Philadelphia.

According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the total stimulus of $425 million dollars is the largest debt SEPTA has ever taken.

College junior Ben Moskowitz, a native of a Washington, D.C. suburb, said he considers SEPTA transportation unreliable. “One of the things with the Washington Metro system is that is much more technologically friendly,” Moskowitz said. “I can time when to leave my house and leave work based on when the next train comes,” he said, adding that “it sounds like SEPTA could be on its way there.”

Although Moskowitz prefers the transit system of Washington D.C. to SEPTA’s, he notes that this comes with a price. “It’s significantly better, but it’s significantly more expensive” in D.C., where the cost of a subway ride ranges from $1.60 to $5.00. “You’re paying for the quality,” Moskowitz said. However, SEPTA noted in the same press release that these renovations will not increase ticket prices.

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