SEPTA plans June unveiling of Key program
SEPTA and Xerox will meet on April 14 to determine if SEPTA’s Key program will be operational to use, according to PhillyVoice.
If the system is considered a go then SEPTA will be seeking early adopters in early June.
“We know that you've been waiting for our new fare program and we're anxious to introduce it to customers,” SEPTA said in a post on their website. “But maintaining your trust and confidence is as important - maybe even more important - than launching the whole program and assuming the system will perform without any issues.”
Based on the experience in other cities, SEPTA says that they’ve learned that a smaller initial roll out will enable them to better prepare riders and manage their transition to this new technology.
Andrew Busch, SEPTA spokesman, told PhillyVoice that SEPTA has been working on the project since 2011, when contracts were initially signed with Xerox, to bring the SEPTA key card program to its ridership.
SEPTA plans to slowly roll out the program, leaving current infrastructure in place to allow riders to continue to use tokens and existing trail passes once the system is up and running.
"This is going to eventually impact everyone who rides SEPTA, so, we want to make sure that we are ready when we roll it out," Busch said. "If someone already has their token, they aren't going to lose the value of that."
SEPTA plans to expand the testing of the program by adding up to 10,000 Transit customers, a group that they are calling early adopters, who would be willing to retire their magnetic stripe TransPasses, tokens, or cash and begin using the new key card, loaded with a Weekly or Monthly TransPass, for their regular travel.
A special introductory promotion is planned for the Early Adopter program at five Market Frankford Line and five Broad Street Line stations, where customers will be able to purchase a Weekly or Monthly TransPass, at the station kiosk.
SEPTA remains the only transit agency in the United States still operating on a token system. SEPTA had originally planned to launch SEPTA Key sometime last year, but had pushed the project back. The original completion date was scheduled for 2013.