Key is a reusable Card that lets you load/reload a SEPTA Pass or put money in the Travel Wallet to receive the same discount as you would using a Token and/or a paper Transfer. With SEPTA Key, you can now protect your Card and fare products in the event of loss or theft, so it's important to do this as soon as you purchase your Card and load your first SEPTA product. (learn how below).
With a Key Card, the days of swiping to pay your fare are over - all you need to do is tap and ride thanks to the contactless chip inside the Card and the red framed Validator pads on Transit fareboxes and station turnstiles and Regional Rail platform Validators and station turnstiles. (more details about how this works on Regional Rail below).
Key also brings a full service-self serve fare purchase system with the introduction of the Fare Kiosk. On Transit, Fare Kiosks have been installed at all Market Frankford and Broad Street Line Stations and at select Bus Loops. On Regional Rail, Fare Kiosks will only be available at the five Center City Stations (Temple, Jefferson, Suburban, 30th St., and Penn Medicine) -there will not be Fare Kiosks at any outlying Regional Rail Stations. At the Kiosk you will be able to buy a Key Card, load/reload a fare - both Passes and Travel Wallet -- as well as check the balance on your Travel Wallet account. The Kiosks accept credit, debit, and cash - just check the signage on the equipment. The Fare Kiosk also sells a Quick Trip (learn more below) for customers without a Key Card and those occasional riders who only want to purchase a single ride fare.
Self-serve doesn't mean that you won't be able to get assistance if you need it. One important component of the SEPTA Key program for Transit is that Cashiers will leave the booth and become Customer Attendants with the flexibility to assist customers and answer questions at the fareline, Fare Kiosks, and the station platforms inside the paid area. Customer assistant call boxes have also been installed near the Fare Kiosks. With the push of the button you can speak with a SEPTA Supervisor. On Regional Rail, Passenger Service representatives will continue to be available at our Center City Stations and at outlying stations; you can use the SEPTA Key Customer Call Box if you need assistance.
Your SEPTA Key Card is good for up to 3 years (see the expiration date on the front of the Card). So the same Card can be used over and over again - which is convenient for you - and supports our commitment to sustainability.
SEPTA Key also gets you discounts on food, drink, museums, sports, shops and more as part of our Pass Perks program and our 100+ Perks Partners. No special coupons or member cards needed - just show your Key Card at a participating location and you're an instant VIP.
How SEPTA Key Works - By Mode
Buses and Trolleys and Norristown High Speed Line
Validators have been added to existing fareboxes on all buses, trackless trolleys, trolleys (City and Suburban) and the Norristown High Speed Line. Customers using a Key Card pass it across the Validator screen and those using cash (bills and coins) or tokens will continue to put them in the farebox.
Gated fare lines have been installed at Westbound 19th and 22nd St Trolley Stations and on the Norristown High Speed Line at 69th Street Transportation Center and Norristown Transportation Center. Currently, customers still pay their fares on these vehicles but when the arms are installed at the turnstiles, only Key Cards will be accepted at the turnstiles. Customers with cash or tokens will go to the Fare Kiosk to purchase a single ride Quick Trip, which will be swiped at the turnstile much like you swipe a SEPTA pass today.
With the transition to SEPTA Key, will rear door boarding of buses still be allowed? Will SEPTA be installing a second Validator at the back door?
Rear door loading will continue on SEPTA routes and locations where it is currently in place. While not yet in place, Loaders will have handheld devices to validate Key Card fares.
Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines
New turnstiles and ADA accessible gates, outfitted with Validators, have been installed at every station on the Broad Street and Market Frankford Lines. Key Cards must be tapped at the turnstile Validator for access; Quick Trips are swiped through the swipe reader. Fare Kiosks are available at all Stations for Key Card Sales, fare load/reloads (debit, credit, cash accepted), and Quick Trip sales.
Remember, starting August 1, 2018, the ONLY way to get the $1.00 transfer fare, for travel on Transit, is using a Key Card with money in the Travel Wallet.
Currently, ONLY Key Cards loaded with Weekly or Monthly TransPasses are valid for travel on the Airport Regional Rail Line and SEPTA Key Quick Trips can be purchased at Airport Line Terminal platforms for travel from Philadelphia International Airport to Center City and outlying stations.
As of July 2018, new gating, turnstiles and ADA entrances with Fare Validators are now operational at all Center City Stations - Monday-Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. During these hours, you must swipe your legacy pass at the turnstile to enter the station; to exit - just go through the turnstile - no swipe required. We have also created paid and unpaid areas at Temple, Jefferson, Suburban, 30th Street, and University City Stations.
New fare payment equipment including Platform Fare Validators and Parking Pay Stations has been installed at most of our outlying Regional Rail Stations.
Conductors will be getting handheld devices that can validate your Key Card TrailPass fare or sell a Quick Trip when you board the train.
SEPTA Key is a self-serve fare payment system. When you arrive at your outlying home Regional Rail station you will tap your Key Card at one of the platform Validators to start your trip. If you're traveling to a station outside of Center City you will tap your Key Card at one of the platform Validators to end your trip. If you are traveling to a Center City Station, you will tap your Card at one of the turnstile or ADA Validators to end your trip and exit the station. If your trip starts in Center City, you'll tap at the Validator to access the platform and trains; at your destination - tap at the Platform Validator to end your trip. If you forget to tap before boarding the train, ask the Conductor to tap your Card on their handheld device.