SEPTA To Roll Out New ‘Stored-Value’ Feature For Occasional Riders

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA plans to introduce a stored-value feature and senior cards to its “SEPTA Key” fare program by the end of the year.

You can buy the re-loadable, tap-and-go SEPTA Key cards at an increasing number of locations. But right now, their function is limited.

Riders can only load the value of a weekly or monthly TransPass on them. SEPTA Deputy General Manager, Rich Burnfield says in November the transit agency expects to roll out a stored-value feature for occasional riders.

“A Travel Wallet is where a customer could add value to a card, say, $5, $10, $20 and then use that card on a per-trip basis. And SEPTA expects to launch that towards the end of this calendar year — looking to launch sometime in mid-to-late November.”

Next month, SEPTA begins mailing 40,000 photo-embedded senior fare cards for early adopters. But Burnfield says seniors will still be able to ride transit free without them.

He says a full roll-out of the electronic fare collection system isn’t expected until sometime in 2017, and there will be a transition period during which tokens and TransPasses will still be accepted.

Burnfield says SEPTA is also developing a SEPTA Key mobile app, to allow commuters to pay for rides using their cell phones.

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One Comment

  1. Phyllis Hilly says:

    I currently use senior tickets on regional rail to go to & from work. How will the change over to new collection of fares work?

  2. SEPTA has still not clarified the amount that occasional riders will be charged for each ride. Based on earlier information they posted, it appears that ALL occasional riders will be charged the equivalent of the one-way cash fare, currently $2.25, versus the token price which is 45¢ less.

    At least as things stand now, occasional riders have a chance of saving some money – of course assuming they (a) know about tokens and (b) can find somewhere to buy them. If even that possibility is being eliminated, the Key will impose a kind of “stealth” increase that may not be obvious to those affected.

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