Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties
Q: Will there be more than one type of SEPTA Key Card?
A: Yes, SEPTA will offer two types of contactless cards: a personalized card with your name imprinted on the front and an anonymous card that can be purchased instantly at Station Fare Kiosks, SEPTA Sales Locations, and external Sales outlets. The personalized card will only be available through the SEPTA Key website or the SEPTA Key Customer Service (this is not SEPTA Customer Service).
Q: Will there be a fee to get a SEPTA Key Card?
A: It will depend on the type of card you want. There is no fee to get a personalized card (the one with your name imprinted on the front). The cards that you will get at Station Fare Kiosks, SEPTA Sales Locations, and external Sales outlets will cost $4.95 to purchase. There will not be any other fees to use the SEPTA Key Card for transit and both of these Cards will be good for up to 3 years.
Q: What makes the Key Card different from the SEPTA pass I buy today?
A: First thing is technology. The new Key Cards will have contactless chips, so all you have to do is pass it across the face of the Validator to pay for your ride. Second, the same card can be used over and over again. SEPTA Key won't just be a convenient way to pay for SEPTA fares - it will be an important part of our commitment to Sustainability.
Q: Will the SEPTA Key Card offer balance protection if the card is lost or stolen?
A: Yes. Personalized cards will automatically be registered. Customers who purchased one of the anonymous cards can register for Balance Protection by contacting the SEPTA Key Customer Service Center or going to the SEPTA Key website.
Q: What is a Travel Wallet?
A: If you don't want to purchase a pass you can put money into the Travel Wallet on your SEPTA Key Card and then just pay as you travel. The benefit of the Travel Wallet is that you'll receive a discount for each ride. It's just like using a Token without all that heavy metal in your pocket or purse and certainly much better than paying cash. The Travel Wallet will also be good to pay for daily parking at SEPTA station lots.
Q: Are you changing the types of passes that I can buy?
A: No, we're not changing the types of passes offered just the form they take. You'll still be able to buy a discounted weekly or monthly pass or one of our day passes, you just won't need to get a brand new pass every day, week, or month. The SEPTA Key Card is a flexible, reloadable card that you can customize to match your travel plans. If you usually purchase a monthly pass but have plans for an extended vacation or business trip during the upcoming month, you can easily turn your SEPTA Key Card into a weekly pass and just as easily convert back to a monthly pass when you return.
Q: Are Seniors and Riders with Disabilities also getting new cards?
A: Yes, the paper Transit ID cards Seniors and Riders with Disabilities use today will be phased out under the SEPTA Key program. Seniors can either use a current PA Driver's License or PA non-Driver Photo ID or they can register for a SEPTA Key photo-ID card. The ID's issued by the State will be swiped at the turnstile and the SEPTA issued card will be tapped at the Validator. Customers eligible for the Reduced Fare Program will register for a SEPTA Key Reduced Fare photo ID. The Reduced Fare Card will be tapped at the Validator and customers will have to set up a Travel Wallet to fund their discounted fare payment. The fares for Seniors and Riders with Disabilities will not be changing just the cards they use. SEPTA has an extensive outreach program planned to provide information, answer questions, and register Seniors and Riders with Disabilities for the SEPTA Key program.
Q: Are there going to be any other new fare options?
A: Customers will be able to buy a Quick Trip good for one ride from any Transit Station with turnstiles and a fareline. The Quick Trip will only be good for use at the Station where you purchased it; it will not be good for travel on buses.
Q: I've seen new turnstiles at 13th St Station (MFL). They look almost the same but not quite - what's different?
A: The new SEPTA Key turnstiles have a swipe reader - that's something you're used to seeing - and they have a red frame with a pad called The Validator - that's new. The swipe reader will be used for current SEPTA passes, single ride Quick Trips, and one of the options that will be offered to Senior riders. The Validator will be used by customers with SEPTA Key Cards and any debit or credit card that has a contactless chip.
Q: There doesn't seem to be a slot for coins or tokens on the new turnstiles does this mean I can't use them anymore to pay my fare?
A: You're right, the new turnstiles won't accept tokens or coins but you'll still be able to use them. At the beginning of the transition, the station Fare Kiosk will accept a token to purchase a Quick Trip. At some time in the future, we will stop selling and accepting tokens but cash - coins and bills - will always be accepted at the Fare Kiosk to pay your fare.
Q: Will there still be a cashier at my station?
A: SEPTA Key is a self-serve fare purchase and payment system so we won't need a booth to collect fares. Under the new program, the Cashiers will become Customer Attendants. They will have the flexibility to walk around and assist customers inside the paid area and outside the station fareline.
Q: Is the transition to SEPTA Key going to take place all at once?
A: No, it will be a phased transition starting with Transit in 2015 followed by Regional Rail and CCT in 2016.
Q: Once implemented, will there be a reduced fare when transferring? If so, how will the transfer process work?
A: Your fare options won't be changing only your choices for how to pay using the SEPTA Key Card. Once you purchase the card you can either buy a transit product (Weekly or Monthly Pass) or you can put money into the Travel Wallet and use it to pay just as you do today with tokens and transfers. How the transfer works is simple. At the start of your trip, tap your Key Card at the Validator - that's like using a token. When you transfer, for the second part of your trip, tap your card at the farebox or turnstile Validator and the system will deduct for the transfer. Please don't forget, only valid transfers get the discount, otherwise you'll pay the full discounted fare for the second trip.
Q: On Regional Rail, will special privileges with a pass continue (such as weekend "Anywhere Pass" privileges with a Transpass).
A: Valid Trans/TrailPasses loaded on a SEPTA Key Card will continue to have Anywhere travel privileges on Regional Rail on weekends and major holiday.
Q: How will students use the SEPTA Key
A: Eventually all current SEPTA fares will migrate over to the SEPTA Key program and there will be Student SEPTA Key Cards for secondary school children. However, student fares will not be part of the initial Transit transition. Legacy passes will continue to be accepted at the swipe reader on the old and new turnstiles and school tokens will still be accepted at old turnstiles with coin slots and at the Cashier Booth. Students will receive information and instructions about the transition to the SEPTA Key program from their school at the appropriate time. Students participating in our University Pass program will receive a Key Card to use for travel on SEPTA.
Q: How will the Family Independence Pass work?
A: The Family Independence Pass on the SEPTA Key Card will work exactly the same as the paper pass works today. One family of up to five people traveling together (one person, but no more than two, must be 18 years of age or older) will be able to use the Family Independence Pass for one day of unlimited travel. This pass will only be available for purchase from a SEPTA Sales Office - it will not be available from a Fare Kiosk. Please remember, SEPTA Key will launch on Transit first, so if your One Day Family Independence travel includes Regional Rail you'll purchase the paper pass until the transition to all modes is complete.
Q: Will the SEPTA Key work with Apple pay?
A: SEPTA is looking at all possible options that would enable a customer to use a phone (iPhone or Android device) to pay a fare. When we have more details we'll update this question.
Q: Can smart phones (NFC Technology specifically) be used to pay on transit and the railroad?
A: Yes, phones with NFC chips will be one of the options for paying a SEPTA fare but customers should be aware this will be a pay as you go transaction, which is not a discounted fare.
Q: Will the TransPasses still be unlimited rides?
A: As defined in the Fare Tariff presented in public hearings and adopted in 2013, under the SEPTA Key program, all Weekly passes (Trans and Trail) will have a 56 ride limit and Monthly passes (Trans and Trail) will have a 240 ride limit. Transfers will be counted against this limit.
Q: At Fern Rock, the new turnstiles are not activated and must use the old turnstiles.
A: At this stage in the equipment installation process, you will see a mix of old and new turnstiles at stations - except for our new farelines under Dilworth Park, which have all new turnstiles. Right now, the new turnstiles are only open for exit from the platform area but at some point before we transition to the SEPTA Key Card customers will be able to use our current SEPTA magnetic stripe passes at the new turnstile swipe readers.
Q: Will you also be able to put insurance on your pass too?
A: The SEPTA Key Card program will automatically offer balance protection for customers who get the personalized card (the one with your name imprinted on the front). Key Cards purchase at a Fare Kiosk, SEPTA Sales Office, or external Sales location will need to be registered for Balance Protection by calling the SEPTA Key Customer Service Center or going to the SEPTA Key website. It's important to keep in mind that for either of the SEPTA Key Cards, only the amount of the funds in the Travel Wallet or the number of rides remaining on a Pass at the time the loss or theft is reported will have the benefit of balance protection.
Q: How will the system accommodate RideECO (former TransitChek) and other commuter benefit programs?
A: Passes, tickets and tokens will be replaced by the SEPTA Key Card. The card costs $4.95 and this cost is an eligible pre-tax expense. Your employer or third party Transportation Administer will manage your company's commuter benefit program funds through the SEPTA Key website. For those currently receiving home delivery of passes or tickets from WageWorks, Wired Commute or ADP, your preselected benefit will be added to your SEPTA Key Card each month.
Q: Once implemented, will the SEPTA Key be valid for use on PATCO?
A: SEPTA has been working with PATCO to ensure that customers who purchase and use the current Joint Fare will be able to do so when we roll out the new fare program.
Q: Will current stations that have no cashier (Ex: 31st MFL entrance), stay open longer when the SEPTA Key is implemented?
A: SEPTA Key is designed as a self-serve fare payment system that will enable customer to access the system whether or not there is a Cashier or Customer Attendant at the station.
Q: How will the system work for blind and visually impaired customers?
A: SEPTA will be reaching out to customers with disabilities to introduce them to the new Fare program, which will include travel familiarization for the new Cards and equipment. The Fare Kiosks will have labels with Braille and raised letter and an audio function (to make the machine speak) as well as a jack for audio amplification equipment to support the completion of a transaction. Customers will also be able to get information, purchase Cards, or reload fares using the SEPTA Key Website or the SEPTA Key Customer Service Center.
Q: How will Seniors access stations with no attendant present?
A: Everyone who rides SEPTA will transition to the new SEPTA Key Fare program including Senior Citizens. The current paper ID card will be phased out and Seniors will be able to ride either by using a valid PA Photo Driver License or non-Driver Photo ID or SEPTA issued SEPTA Senior Card that will have a photo. The licenses/non-driver ID's will be swiped at the farebox or turnstile reader and the SEPTA Senior Card will be tapped at the Validator.
Q: Why is SEPTA keeping the existing fare boxes on the buses and trolleys?
A: Adding the Validator to the fareboxes rather than replacing all of the existing fare equipment was determined to be a more efficient way to integrate the new fare program without inconveniencing customers. As designed, you can continue to use the swipe reader and coin/bill slots until the new equipment is ready to go into service.