The much-delayed SEPTA Key is coming for 10,000 commuters beginning June 13, SEPTA announced today.
The transit agency says “Early Adopters” will be able to obtain Key cards at that time in order to test out SEPTA’s new digital fare payment system. The agency is seeking for them to “retire” their tokens or TransPasses and join the testing program. SEPTA Dep. General Manager Richard Burnfield said a full-scale roll-out date hasn’t been determined.
“We’re anxious to hear the experience from our customers,” he said, “to see how things work for those customers before we roll it out on a larger scale.”
People will be able to get involved in the program by purchasing a weekly pass or a monthly pass Key at one of five Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line stops that have not yet been determined. SEPTA does not anticipate needing to hold a lottery or any kind of application process. People who are interested will be able to try the Key by buying a monthly or weekly pass.
When the weekly pass or monthly pass runs out, they would then be able to add another weekly or monthly pass online or by calling SEPTA’s customer service. Though original purchases of the Key for this program will be limited to six stops on both the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines, the technology will work on all buses, trolleys, trackless trolleys, the Norristown High-Speed Line and the entire Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines.
Burnfield said SEPTA will solicit feedback from the early adopters crowd via social media and a comment system on the SEPTA Key website. He also said SEPTA ambassadors — employees volunteering to help direct riders — will be on-hand to hear feedback from customers.
He also added that SEPTA users attempting to ride SEPTA by paying with tokens, cash or TransPasses won’t notice a difference in service once the early adopters program launches.