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September 27, 2016

No token, no problem: SEPTA launches 'Quick Trip' where riders can pay with plastic for single ride

Transportation SEPTA
SEPTA Train Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A SEPTA train.

Finally – gone are the days of digging through pockets and purses to find a token or $2.25 in exact change. SEPTA added a new feature to many of its stations Tuesday that allows subway riders to buy a single trip with a debit or credit card.

The addition called "Quick Trips," is another option on its SEPTA Key, which replaces the transportation system's primitive tokens and passes.

The "Quick Trips" are disposable, magnetic strip tickets that can swipe at the new electronic turnstiles. It's being offered at 18 stations, including at the Erie-Torresdale, Dilworth Park, 15th Street, 34th Street, 40th Street, Allegheny, Berks, Tioga and 63rd Street stops on the Market-Frankford Line. Riders can buy a "Quick Trip" at AT&T Station, Walnut-Locust, Cecil B. Moore, Spring Garden, Tasker-Morris, Ellsworth-Federal, Erie, Girard and City Hall stops on the Broad Street Line.

Don't think about using the cards on the bus though, they won't work. The new card will also only swipe at the location that it's purchased on the day it's bought.

"It's a fraud protection measure on our part," said Andrew Busch, a SEPTA spokesperson.

In addition to accepting debit and credit, the kiosks will take cash and can make change from larger bills. Busch said someone will still sitting by the station's turnstile in case riders need to quickly catch an approaching train.

Unlike the slow rollout of the SEPTA Key that initially had limited weekly and monthly passes for sale, anyone can buy a "Quick Trip" pass starting now.

More stations will be added weekly with all the stations offering "Quick Trips" by Oct. 17, SEPTA officials said Tuesday.