by Matthew Mitchell
Tritransit Area wrote: Here's more on SEPTA's NPT site at http://www.septa.org/fares/npt/what.html:That's all true, and the other benefits (particularly better ridership data) have been underemphasized in the debate over the project, but it dodges the big enchilada, which is reducing the number of employees needed for fare collection.For SEPTA, the new fare payment system is projected to reduce operating and maintenance costs. This will be accomplished through improved revenue accountability and operating efficiencies gained from system automation and decisions made using information in real time.
What also makes this system good for SEPTA (politically) is that they are working towards becoming as efficient as possible, making politicians look at SEPTA more favorably and perhaps won't balk as much when SEPTA asks for more funding.There is a lot of that going on, including stuff that makes us cringe, like the Pattison station renaming. However, it makes a very big impression on legislative leaders and other elected officials when there are visible efforts to maximize outside revenue.
One thing SEPTA has been very good at since the Gambaccini years is creative finance (the constructive kind), and that's what they used to get the NPT project going. We vetted that deal and the Silverliner V lease transaction about the same time pretty carefully and don't see anything improper or irresponsible about them: the Silverliner deal saves SEPTA about a quarter point on finance costs--the people that count notice that stuff.