The hard-to-kill SEPTA token, an enduring symbol of 20th-century public transportation in America, will be sold for the last time at cashier's booths and vending machines on or about March 1.
That's worth repeating after years of speculation and debate: SEPTA says token sales will be discontinued once and for all by March 2018. The era of the SEPTA Key is upon us.
The March date will be largely ceremonial. All but 40 token machines will be removed over a six-week period starting in mid-January, SEPTA said in a statement Wednesday.
"The phase-out of token sales represents the next major step forward for the SEPTA Key fare modernization project," the statement said. "Earlier this year, SEPTA ended sales of 'legacy' magnetic strip TransPasses at its sales offices, which has resulted in most weekly and monthly TransPass customers moving to reloadable SEPTA Key Cards."
The number of vending machines for tokens have already been cut in half due to declining sales and the availability of the Key Card.
"Customers who currently use tokens, paper transfers or pay with cash can transition to the Key – and leave behind the days of worrying about having exact change or pre-purchasing tokens. The Travel Wallet will automatically deduct single-rides at the discounted token rate, and process transfers," the SEPTA statement said.
Have a bunch of tokens and worried about using them all before they're purged? SEPTA said they can be turned into cashiers and their value transferred to a Key Card.
Here's some more information for customers about moving from tokens and paper transfers to the Key Card:
- Visit a fare kiosk on the Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line or major bus loop. Follow the directions on the touch screen menu and select Travel Wallet;
- Load funds (between $10-$250) using cash, debit or credit card. In addition, customers who have tokens can load them onto their Travel Wallet at fare kiosks;
- Once you have a Key Card, you are ready to tap-and-go to pay fares on all Transit modes;
- Reload funds at kiosks, sales offices, online at the Key ecommerce website, www.septakey.org, or by calling the Key Customer Service Center at (855) 567-3782;
- Customers are also urged to visit www.septakey.org or call (855) 567-3782 as soon as they get their Key Card to register it and protect from loss or theft.