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January 13, 2020

SEPTA Regional Rail expands Key card tap-to-exit initiative to Jefferson Station

By this spring, similar protocol will be in place at for passengers departing trains at all Center City stops

Public Transportation SEPTA
SEPTA key Jefferson station Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Commuters departing SEPTA Regional Rail trains at Jefferson Station, like the one pictured above, now need to tap their SEPTA Key cards at the turnstiles in order to exit the station. The change started Monday, Jan. 13, 2020. SEPTA is planning to implement similar protocol at all of its Center City stations by the spring

SEPTA Regional Rail riders who arrive at Jefferson Station in Center City now need their Key cards in order to exit the station.

The change started Monday. Commuters who use either the SEPTA Key card, which is a contact-free payment method, or a senior citizen card from 6:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. on weekdays will need to tap or swipe at designated turnstiles at Jefferson in order to leave. SEPTA officials said in a press release that about half of the turnstiles will be for tap-to-exit customers with these transit passes.

Riders who pay fares with cash and have paper tickets or who have a rail pass with a magnetic stripe will use separate turnstiles. Jefferson Station, which sees roughly 27,000 riders per day, implemented four of the "tap to exit" turnstiles this past November. There will be signs that direct Key-holding riders to which turnstiles they can use.

This is just the first step in SEPTA’s plan to expand its tap-to-exit initiative to all Center City stations this year.

Suburban Station will be the next Regional Rail stop in Center City to install tap-to-exit turnstiles in late January or early February, according to WHYY. Three more Center City stations will follow, as SEPTA hopes to have the initiative up and running at all of its stops across the entire rail system by this spring.

“We want to see how it works,” SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch said to WHYY. “Make sure customers are getting familiar with it. We want to get them in the habit of how the Key is going to work.”

Commuters soon will be able to pay for single-ride Regional Rail tickets using the SEPTA Travel Wallet, rather than purchasing a monthly pass. Eventually, all riders will be required to tap in and out at their home station to start and end their commutes.