In one of the greatest scenes in Back to the Future, nay, cinematic history, Dr. Emmett Brown confidently explains to a young Marty McFly, “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” The Delorean calmly lifts its wheels and blasts off into the future. Woah.
Enter SEPTA Key, the new payment system that will soon be implemented on all subways, trolleys and buses throughout the city. We spotted one of the new fangled kiosks at the Tasker/Morris Station. While it isn’t as cool as a levitating, time-traveling Delorean that runs on bio-fuels, it’s certainly a new beginning to a brighter future for SEPTA and its riders.
Billy Penn recently broke down the SEPTA Key FAQ section into an easy to understand guide for the new system. It will eliminate the need for tokens and implement a card payment system that’s similar to a debit card. It’s currently in a “pilot program” for testing and begin in earnest sometime next year after they work out some of the kinks.
- Cost of a ride will remain the same (including passes) and you’ll be able to easily load money onto the card.
- You can register for a card online or over the phone. You can buy a non-personalized card at a SEPTA kiosk.
- Registering your card helps your keep your money in the event its lost or stolen
- You can pay via the card or with smartphones that have contactless chips. There’s no need to swipe, just hold it to the sensor.
Give the rest of the SEPTA key 101 a read here. It’s helpful, especially now that we’re starting to see them pop up in South Philly. It’s also kind of bittersweet. We’re glad SEPTA is moving into a brighter, token-less future, but a small part of us will certainly miss the familiar jangle of a few tokens in our pockets.
Are you excited for the new SEPTA Key rollout? This video might tip the scales in either direction: