Debut Date Finally Set for SEPTA's New Fare System

Thousands of SEPTA riders will be able to pay for their bus or train ride with a tap of a card come June as the transit authority starts its rollout of a highly-anticipated and long-delayed fare system.

SEPTA Key will launch an Early Adopters program on June 13 — the first real test for the new fare technology. Up to 10,000 riders will be allowed into the pilot program that will require the purchase of a weekly or monthly TransPass, officials said Friday.

Under the new system, riders will use reloadable fare cards, called a Key Card, to pay for fares. The cards, similar to a gift card, can be reloaded over the internet or at kiosks.

The Key Cards will work on buses, trolleys, the Market-Frankford El, Broad Street Subway and Norristown High-Speed Line. SEPTA expects to expand the system to regional rail after a full rollout on the other transport modes.

SEPTA Key was supposed to debut two years ago, but has been mired in delays.

Once kinks are worked out during the Early Adopter program, SEPTA officials plan to expand its use to more riders.

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