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Open Thread: What do you think of SEPTA’s new Key card measures?

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From doing away with the token, to letting some Regional Rail riders use the Key card, there have been a lot of changes this summer.

Passengers boarding a SEPTA train in Philadelphia
Passengers boarding a SEPTA train in Philadelphia
Gregory Adams/Getty Images

All summer, SEPTA has been rolling out some major changes—and additions—to its Key card program in an effort to make the reloadable, reusable card the norm for all Philly transportation.

Most recently, the transit agency stopped selling paper transfers on its subways, trolleys, and buses last week. Riders now must have a Key card loaded with money in order to pay the $1 or—in some cases—$.50 transfer fee, according to a statement from SEPTA.

But even before the transfer news, there were major changes. In May, SEPTA stopped selling the long-used and (sort-of) beloved tokens, which had been around since the 1960s. A few days later the price of the Key card was hiked to nearly $5.

Next, the transit agency announced the “early adopters program,” which brings the Key card to Regional Rail riders. The program began in July, and allowed anyone traveling specific Zone 4 Regional Rail lines to use a Key card loaded with the monthly transit pass, (rather than the regular paper pass).

The early adopters program—as the name suggests—is indicative of things to come. SEPTA is urging riders to switch over to the Key card as it phases out its “outdated legacy fare instruments,” according to a statement from the transit agency. Eventually, riders can expect to use the SEPTA Key card for everything from a one-time trip to the suburbs, to the daily commute around Center City.

But as SEPTA continues the Key card takeover, we want to turn to you. What do you think about the changes to the Key card program this summer? Did you like the idea of stopping token sales in favor of the card? What about the plan to bring the card to Regional Rail riders? Are you going to miss the paper transfers?

Let us know in the comments which changes to the Key card program you’ve liked and which you wish SEPTA had handled differently.

  • The end of the token is finally here [Curbed Philly]
  • SEPTA announces changes to Key card price [Curbed Philly]
  • SEPTA Key cards will soon be available for some Regional Rail riders [Curbed Philly]