SEPTA rolls out tap-to-pay on buses, trolleys, and trains

The transit agency had been beta-testing contactless payments since late July.

SEPTA turnstile

A Broad Street Line turnstile outfitted with a contactless payment reader. (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

At long last, SEPTA riders will be able to use bank cards and their smartphone wallet to pay for bus, trolley, and train fares starting Friday morning.

The move is part of SEPTA’s plans to upgrade its electronic fare collection system. Fares will remain the same as those who use SEPTA Key Cards ($2) and riders will still get up to two free transfers within two hours. Fares are $2.50 for cash and paper Quick Tickets.

In a statement to WHYY News, SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said the turquoise fare cards will not be going away anytime soon and “will remain available for any customer who wants to use them.”

Busch also stressed Key Cards will still be needed for passes, including daily, weekly, and monthly passes.

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The transportation agency has spent at least $236 million since embarking on the electronic fare collection program in 2011. It’s been beta-testing contactless payment since late July.

Regional Rail riders who use a SEPTA Key Card will need to continue to do so. However, a separate rollout of contactless pay for that line is expected to arrive early next year.

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