Looking for a paper SEPTA transfer? That train has left the station

The discounted rate is still available, but riders must use the Key card.

Mike DeNardo
August 01, 2018 - 7:19 am

Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio, file


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — In another nudge toward the reloadable SEPTA Key fare card, $1 paper transfers are no longer being issued, starting Wednesday.

SEPTA has already stopped selling tokens and magnetic-strip TransPasses. Now the transit agency is no longer issuing paper transfers for the second leg of a ride. To get the transfer discount now, riders will have to load money onto a tap-and-go SEPTA Key card and draw from the Travel Wallet balance.  

The new system, which SEPTA has been rolling out slowly over the last two years, still has some customer scratching their heads. One rider said she has a Key card, but she laments the demise of the paper transfer.

"Sometimes I can't get a transpass on my card for the week, you know what I mean? So yeah, it's going to be a struggle for a lot of people," she said.

In fact, the SEPTA Key card now replaces tokens, transpasses and transfers. 

SEPTA says most customers have already switched to the card, but some still have not.

"If you don't get the paper pass, that means you've got to pay an extra fare. So you're getting double-charged," said another customer, indicating a misuderstanding of the Key card's Travel Wallet function.

SEPTA's website explains that customers will still receive the same discounted transfer fare as before. Riders must tap the Key card when boarding the first vehicle and tap again when boarding the next vehicle for the connecting trip. A rider will get the discounted transfer rate for that connecting trip if it begins within 90 minutes of start of the first leg of the trip. 

Another rider said she has trouble keeping track of money she loads onto the Travel Wallet function.

"It goes so fast," she said. "Like, you go get on the bus and boom — 'RRRNT' — like, 'I know I just put $15 on there or $10 on there!'  No, it don't work like that."

Customers can track their balance on the SEPTA Key website.

Paper transfers will still be issued by PATCO vending machines, until Aug. 31. PATCO is issuing a new Freedom fare card that will be compatible with transfers to SEPTA.

KYW Newsradio's Eric Walter contributed to this report.