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End draws near for SEPTA tokens

The authority has launched the "Quick Trips" magnetic card.
SEPTA's Key kiosk.SEPTA

SEPTA is again expanding its Key program, a payment card alternative to the city's archaic subway and transit tokens.

The authority on Tuesday launched "Quick Trips," a disposable, magnetic card that can be purchased for $2.25 for single trips on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines. Buyers can use debit and credit cards or cash.

Also gone are the days of carrying exact change: Riders paying in cash will receive change at kiosks when buying Quick Trips tickets.

The single-ride tickets are available at 18 stations on the two subway lines:

  • On the MFL Erie-Torresdale, Dilworth Park, 15th Street, 34th Street, 40th Street; Allegheny, Berks, Tioga and 63rd Street.
  • On the BSL AT&T Station, Walnut-Locust, Cecil B. Moore, Spring Garden, Tasker-Morris, Ellsworth-Federal, Erie, Girard and City Hall.

More stations will be added weekly. All stations will be equipped to offer Quick Trips by Oct. 17, SEPTA said. And unlike the early rollout of Key cards, which were limited to monthly and weekly passes, Quick Trips are available for purchase now.

By late November, SEPTA also plans to roll out theKey's "Travel Wallet" feature, which will allow riders to fill their cards with cash for $1.80 fares, instead of carrying tokens, a spokesman for the agency told PlanPhilly.

The Key program still doesn't extend to Regional Rail lines, though SEPTA has said that a Key card loaded with a TransPass will be accepted on weekends and holidays only.

Full rollout of the new payment technology (NPT) system was expected in December 2013, per PlanPhilly, and again was anticipated this past spring. By November – already nearly three years behind schedule – the Key still isn't expected to extend to Regional Rail and CCT Paratransit riders.

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