SEPTA: Cards to replace tokens, cash and passes

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The way that hundreds of thousands of SEPTA customers pay for their ride is about to change.

The transit agency unveiled its "SEPTA Key" program, which will eventually replace tokens, cash and passes.

It will be used system-wide.

With older systems the money information is on the mag stripe. Just like cash: if you lose it, it's gone.

With SEPTA Key, the money information stays in a computer.

But, there have been some glitches.

"Some equipment has had trouble passing the reliability tests, I think they have a fix that now," said SEPTA GM Jeff Knuepel.

The hope is to move from the testing phase to customer use starting late this year or early next year.

It will be a slow rollout, says the man overseeing SEPTA Key.

"We're going to start out small scale and build over time to reduce the risk for the customers so they don't get disappointed," said Kevin O'Brien of SEPTA.

This is a program years in the making at a cost of $134 million.
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