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SEPTA tokens will be phased out starting early 2018 (update)

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Starting January 22 through the first week of February

It’s official: Early 2018 will be the end of the archaic SEPTA token.

SEPTA just announced that it will begin the phase-out of its token payments in mid-January, with token sales officially ending at the last-remaining locations on or about March 1, 2018.

Update: The phase-out at at cashiers’ booths begins Monday, January 22 and runs through the first week of February, SEPTA announced. Between February 12 to 28, all remaining vending machines will be removed.

In the following weeks sales of the token will come to a halt at other major SEPTA locations and the third-party vendors.

You can find the full list of dates broken down by line on SEPTA’s website.

It’s the final phase of SEPTA’s ongoing overhaul of its payment system, which has accepted token payments since 1968. In 2016, it started accepting credit card or debit card payments in lieu of exact change and offered paper QuikTrip tickets. By early 2017, the SEPTA Keycard made its debut, kicking off the phase-out of tokens.

If you haven’t already made the switch to SEPTA Keycard, here are some answers to questions you might have about what to do with those tokens.

What will be the last day to buy tokens?

SEPTA will release its official phase-out schedule in January 2018, but cashier sales will end starting mid-January. A lot of the vending machines have already been removed from stations along the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines, but 40 still remain. They’ll all be gone by or around March 1, 2018.

For now, they’ll be sold at major SEPTA sales offices, Regional Rail stations, and at more than 200 other retailers.

How will I pay for SEPTA rides now?

Most folks have made the leap from token to SEPTA Keycard. The blue plastic cards can be purchased at fare kiosks at stations on the Broad Street Line or Market-Frankford Line. They’re free with a $10 minimum load.

They can be used on all public transportation modes: Buses, trolleys, subway lines, and the Regional Rail.

There is also the QuikTrip option: These paper tickets are good for one ride ($2.50) on the Broad Street Line or Market-Frankford Line, but they’re not accepted on buses. And unlike initially, QuikTrip tickets can be used at any station. Before, you could only use the ticket at the station it was purchased.

What is the Travel Wallet option on SEPTA Keycard?

Think of it as the new token payment. The pay-as-you-go option lets you load rides onto your SEPTA Keycard at the same discounted fare as a token ($2 instead of $2.50). There is a minimum $10 load for the Travel Wallet.

Once you load up on Travel Wallet rides, you just tap your Keycard at the gate or when you get on the bus or trolley.

Help! I forget how much money I have on my card.

You can tap your card at a SEPTA kiosk to see how much fare you have left. Or, log onto septakey.org to find your current balance. You can reload this way, too.