SEPTA to add multi-rider transit card fare payments and roll out mobile ticketing in Philadelphia

SEPTA Key pass transit card and reader ticketing in Philadelphia
UPGRADE: SEPTA plans to add a multiple rider feature to its contactless SEPTA Key transit card

South East Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) in the US is to upgrade its SEPTA Key transit card to enable cardholders to pay fares for more than one passenger per journey as well as roll out mobile ticketing “later this year”.

SEPTA confirmed the plans after publishing a page on its website suggesting that the contactless Key card’s multiple rider feature had already gone live and then removing the page and explaining it had been posted in error.

“The multiple rider feature enables one Key card to be used for fare payment for the cardholder and additional riders travelling together,” the webpage said.

The feature will allow a maximum of five passengers to pay their fare from a single Key card provided they are beginning and ending their journey at the same station or stop and provided the cardholder had linked a debit or credit card to their Key account and enabled the upload function, the webpage explained.

Following the removal of the page, SEPTA confirmed that it will be introducing the multiple rider feature during 2022. It added that new card readers supporting the service have already been installed on buses, trolleybuses and subway lines across its network and that,“once it’s up and running there”, it would expand to regional rail services.

A SEPTA spokesperson also told local media outlets that the authority’s mobile ticketing system  — which will enable passengers to pay their faire through the SEPTA mobile app and receive the same discounts available to Key card holders  —  would also be going live “later this year” and would roll out on transit services first, followed by regional rail.

“We’re close, we’re really close on this, this is a really great upgrade, and we think it’s going to come at a time when more people are going to be coming back to the system in this recovery from the pandemic,” SEPTA’s Andy Busch told news outlet Fox 29.

The transport authority revealed plans to expand mobile payments for transit ticketing in July 2021 after originally announcing it was planning to roll out mobile ticketing in January 2020.

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