SEPTA stockpiles $200K from expired Key cards, but the transit agency can’t spend it

Mike DeNardo
October 28, 2019 - 1:37 pm

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Like passengers on a platform, a large sum of leftover money in a SEPTA account is just sitting, waiting.

At the end of July, 40,000 SEPTA Key cards — only those that were issued in 2016 — expired, and commuters had to transfer their funds to new cards or use up their money before the deadline.

Any leftover money on the cards after the deadline was accumulated in an account at SEPTA — $206,000, to be exact.

But SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch said it doesn't belong to the transit agency, and it can’t spend that cash.

“Until somebody comes and claims it, it stays connected with the Key account that the money was put onto,” he said. “Whether it's registered or unregistered, it's associated with the number on that Key card.”

On average, passengers left about $6 on each expired card. 

"That's all value that you can use riding the system," he noted.

Busch said cardholders can still transfer that money to a new Key card by visiting one of nine SEPTA sales offices, or by calling the Key card call center at 855-567-3782.  

By next week, SEPTA plans to introduce the ability to transfer a balance to a new card online — just in time for another group of Keys to expire. 

About 23,000 cards that say “GOOD THRU 11/19” will expire at the end of November. By that time, Busch expects the sum of leftover funds to grow even more.

In the meantime, Busch said SEPTA attorneys are talking with the state about what may have to be done with the unclaimed funds down the road.