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SEPTA Key costs balloon as agency fixes smartcard snafus

SEPTA’s capital budget for the upcoming fiscal year increased the estimated total price of implementing the Key card payment system to $297.77 million, a nearly $30 million increase over last year’s projection and $122 million more than the $175 million cost SEPTA estimated after selecting the project’s main contractor. The 70 percent price jump comes along with a three-year delay on the project’s finish date — the project, which was originally scheduled for completion in December 2013, is now expected to wrap in 2020. Both changes can be blamed on unexpected do-overs and additions needed for the system software, and design upgrades for the notoriously user-unfriendly kiosks.

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