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SEPTA launching "tap to pay" contactless payments Friday; riders split on whether they'll use it

SEPTA riders split on upcoming change to pay for rides
SEPTA riders split on upcoming change to pay for rides 01:29

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- With SEPTA's many modes of transportation in Philadelphia, a convenient way to pay will start on Friday. 

Riders will be able to use contactless "tap to pay" payment on all city and suburban buses and trolleys along with the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Line trains, and the Norristown High Speed Line.  

"This is the only transportation I use," Jackson Kollasch said. 

Kollasch is new to Philadelphia — a first-year student in Temple University's medical program – solely relying on SEPTA to get around the city. 

"I use SEPTA in the mornings to get there and mainly the express and sometimes in the afternoon," Kollasch said.

SEPTA says the new technology is easy to use. All riders have to do is tap a credit or debit card - in physical form or in digital form via apps like Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay at a turnstile or while boarding.

"We encourage all of the riders to give contactless payment a try as we roll it out," SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards said at a news conference. "You are going to be pleasantly surprised at how easy this is to use."

The tech is not available on Regional Rail lines but that will be rolled out in about a year.

"We encourage Eagles fans to take advantage of this easy to use feature on the way to the Linc on Sunday, as we watch the Eagles win their fourth in a row, and then enjoy free rides home on the Broad Street Line," Richards said.  

SEPTA says the new technology will be a convenience for riders and Kollasch agrees. 

"I just heard about it from you but I'm excited because sometimes I forget my card and have to run up and get it and makes me late so it'd be easy to access it. I already have the SEPTA app on my phone to be able to pay," Kollasch said.  

SEPTA says the new options carry the same benefits as the SEPTA Key card - like a discounted $2 one-way fare and up to two transfers. 

Carl Johnson said he uses SEPTA every day to get work, but he isn't sold on using apps to pay and says cash is king. 

"Maybe for a like a year or two removed it will be beneficial, but for now, I think I'll be sticking to my cash," Johnson said.  

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