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Philly transit enthusiasts have gone without new merch for the last 18 months, but the drought has finally come to an end. The SEPTA store reopened last week for the first time since March 2020.
Located inside the lobby of SEPTA HQ at 12th and Market, the shop is stocked with shirts, toys, books, key chains — and, of course, the old metal tokens, turned into a variety of memorabilia.
“We’ve definitely had a lot more foot traffic in the last four days,” said Peg Maguire, senior sales development specialist at SEPTA who helps oversee the store. “It’s fun to see everybody come back. With the customers that were waiting for us to reopen, it’s kind of like a little reunion.”
When non-essential businesses had to shutter at the start of the pandemic, it meant there was no way to snag official SEPTA goodies, because there’s no online store.
That’ll change soon, per Maguire. Though it likely won’t be ready till 2022, the transit authority is working on a website where you’ll be able to order merch.
That should make customers happy. “We’ve had some phone calls here and there, like, ‘Could you just keep us in mind when the store is going to reopen? Could you give us a call?’” said Al’Lee Davis, the store’s customer experience supervisor.
Meantime, you can now visit the store in person. It’s open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Pretty much everything in stock is super affordable, and you get an extra 15% discount if you show the cashier your SEPTA Key.
Here’s a list of a few of our fave products, and what they’ll cost you.
Merch to rep your commute
If you’ve always dreamt of wearing your commute, now’s your chance. New to the store this season are t-shirts that feature maps of the Broad Street Line, the Market-Frankford Line, and trolley and bus routes ($17).
If you want a more subtle look, check out the baseball hats embroidered with individual line abbreviations (also $17).
Clothes for kids
There’s a new t-shirt design for smaller Philadelphians. Offered in teal, yellow and lime green, it features an cut cartoon SEPTA bus above the name of the greatest city in the world ($11.50).
Miniature vehicle replicas
While we’re on the kids thing — have a child’s birthday coming up? The store offers a selection of tiny SEPTA buses, trolleys, and subway cars ($7.75). Perfect for light-hearted playing and slow indoctrination of appreciation for public transit.
Reading materials on your fave public transit network
Another point in the shop’s favor: There’s basically a tiny bookstore in the back. Shelves are lined with dozens of books related to Philly public transportation, or other regional and national transit networks. Even if reading isn’t your thing, they’ll look great on the coffee table.
The makings of a Philly sweatsuit
Do you wanna look like you live in Philly or not? To really commit, you’ve gotta put on a sweatsuit and sprinkle some Tastykake crumbs on your chest. These tops and bottoms feel super soft, they’re emblazoned with the iconic red, white and blue logo and they don’t cost much. Time to get cozy ($22 to $33).
C’mon, $5 for a pint glass? It’s a steal! Impress your friends by pouring a cold one into vessels embellished with detailed drawings of MFL, BSL and trolley cars.
It’s not just t-shirts and sweats — you can go for a more lowkey loyalist look, too. Think SEPTA-branded baseball caps, bucket hats, masks and even socks, all in the ballpark of $10 to $15.
Retro SEPTA jewelry
If you’re a die-hard fanatic, this is how to show it. There are less expensive options, like the rail car lapel pins for $8.50 and logo earrings that cost $38. Then there are the upscale accessories: a SEPTA pendant with a tiny diamond for $125; cuff links that’ll run you $165.
And don’t say the token is dead: You can get a ring made with the vintage transit fare, priced from $235 to $250.