WILLIE POLLINS called it "crazy." Judy Mackey called it "dangerous."
Dozens of their fellow riders packing SEPTA's public hearings Wednesday agreed that the transit agency's New Payment Technology fare-collection system, debuting in 2014, could leave a lot of people feeling dumbfounded about smart cards.
Pollins imagined a rush-hour smart card-mageddon as thousands of desperate regional-rail riders tried to get through the proposed card-reading turnstiles in time to catch their trains.
"Even now, people knock you down the steps to get to their trains," said Pollins, who commutes to Philadelphia daily from Wilmington.
"Putting turnstiles into regional-rail stations is a crazy idea. If somebody's fumbling for his smart card or the turnstile's having trouble reading his card, the crowd behind him is getting angrier. It could lead to fisticuffs."