The speculation can end: SEPTA has unlocked the mystery surrounding a name for what has been generically referred to as the New Payment Technology initiative.
The Authority today unveiled “SEPTA Key” as the official moniker for its fare modernization program. The announcement coincides with the launch of an updated section of the authority’s website regarding SEPTA Key at https://www.septa.org/key/. SEPTA will begin transitioning to the new fare system in 2015.
SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey said SEPTA Key was selected as the program name because of the transformative nature of the initiative.
“SEPTA Key will play a fundamental role in moving the region forward,” Casey said. “It will be the key to your commute, play and everywhere in between.”
SEPTA Key ushers in the overhaul of the authority’s outdated fare payment and collection system. Current fare instruments such as tokens, paper tickets and magnetic stripe passes will be replaced by contactless payment devices.
SEPTA is currently testing the new technology and related equipment, including card readers, new fare gates and fare kiosks. Riders will notice additional equipment installations at transit stations to prepare for the start of pilot testing, which will begin in December and continue for several months. The timing of the SEPTA Key public launch will be dependent on successful results from these field tests.
“This project will reach every SEPTA rider,” Casey said. “It is important that we do everything possible to ensure its readiness before the launch.”
When the program is implemented, riders will be able to use a SEPTA Key branded card that can be purchased at station kiosks, SEPTA Sales Offices, from local retailers and online. Tokens – for many, the symbol of SEPTA’s decades old fare system – will continue to be used during the initial SEPTA Key roll-out. SEPTA will give advanced public notice before tokens are phased out.
SEPTA will conduct a wide-ranging public outreach effort before and throughout SEPTA Key implementation. The SEPTA Key website will also give customers tutorials on how to use the system, along with news, updates and other details on the program.