Baby steps toward SEPTA Key at Jefferson Station Monday

Jefferson Station is nearly empty as a spring snow event takes lace outside in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Jefferson Station is nearly empty as a spring snow event takes lace outside in Philadelphia. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Beginning Monday, regional rail riders at SEPTA’s Jefferson Station in Philadelphia will have to pass through  turnstiles to get to the platform.  The change is in preparation for adding SEPTA Key, the electronic fare collection system, to regional rail trains. The service is still months away for train commuters.

The main components of the turnstiles have been in place for a while, but up until now commuters would walk right through, said Andrew Busch, SEPTA spokesman.  Now they will have to either swipe a pass or show a ticket to get through.

“The methods [passengers] are using, that is not going to change yet. What we are doing in turning the turnstiles on is furthering our testing of the [SEPTA Key] system, get it running get it up to speed,” he said.

Depending on how they are paying their fare, passengers will be directed into different lines. “If they have a Trailpass, and this is only at Jefferson Station, they will swipe that at the turnstile, and that will allow them to go through the turnstile,” he said.

If all goes well, another Center City station will join the testing process, said Busch, declining to say which one or when.

SEPTA has not said when the Key system will be activated for regional rail.  But it has installed the turnstiles at its Center City stations and put up kiosks at suburban stops.

The electronic fare collection system has been operational for bus, subway and trolley passengers for a while, and SEPTA has phased out token sales to get more people to adopt the practice.

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