Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties

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SEPTA Key Update
March 28, 2016

Our contractors have been working to complete the installation of new SEPTA Key equipment - farebox validators on vehicles, and new turnstiles and fare kiosks at Transit stations. So far, 1607 surface vehicle fareboxes have been upgraded with red Validator pads with no change, as of yet, in the way customers pay their fare to ride on buses, trolleys, and trackless trolleys.

On the Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines, the fareline upgrades were planned so that most stations have a mix of legacy equipment - turnstiles that accept tokens and coins - and new turnstiles that only accept passes. There are, however, 17 stations outfitted with all new SEPTA Key fareline equipment. At these locations, customers can continue to use tokens and coins by paying their fare at the Cashier Booth.

While the installation work has taken place, we've been conducting our own extensive testing of the equipment, the new contactless chip fare cards, and software that powers and monitors this complex system, to prepare for the public introduction of SEPTA Key on Transit.

We know that you've been waiting for our new fare program and we're anxious to introduce it to customers. But maintaining your trust and confidence is as important - maybe even more important - than launching the whole program and assuming the system will perform without any issues.

The transition to SEPTA Key is a positive step but it will be a big change for the thousands of customers who become SEPTA Key riders. Based on the experience in other cities, we've learned that a smaller initial roll out will enable us to better prepare our customers and manage our transition to this new technology.

So we plan to expand our testing program by adding up to 10,000 Transit customers - a group we're calling Early Adopters - willing to retire their magnetic stripe TransPasses, tokens, or cash and begin using a new Key Card, loaded with a Weekly or Monthly TransPass, for their regular travel.

A special introductory promotion is planned for the Early Adopter program at 5 Market Frankford Line and 5 Broad Street Line Stations, where customers will be able to purchase a Weekly or Monthly TransPass, at the station Kiosk.

While we're limiting the number of initial locations where you can get a new SEPTA Key Card, everyone who joins this program will be able to use it for travel on any of our buses, trolleys (Routes 10, 11, 13, 15, 34, 36, 101, & 102), trackless trolleys, and the Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines.

When we begin the Early Adopter program, SEPTA Ambassadors and Transportation personnel will be out at these stations to:

  • Introduce customers to the SEPTA Key program
  • Walk through the process of using the Fare Kiosk to get a SEPTA Key Card and purchase a Weekly or Monthly Pass
  • Provide information on registering a Key Card for balance protection
  • Offer tips on options to reload a fare product on the Key Card

Your feedback on using the SEPTA Key Card, reloading fare products, the overall performance of the system, and general impressions will be very important to assist us as we roll out more features of the Key program, refine our communication efforts, and identify possible program modifications. We will offer customers several options for sharing information with us including a comment form on the SEPTA Key microsite.

We'll be back in the next few weeks to provide more details on the locations, the dates when SEPTA Key Ambassadors will be out and ready to answer your questions, as well as special promotional opportunities for Transit customers who want to join our Early Adopter program.