Regional Rail riders will soon be able to use Travel Wallet function on fare cards

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)  The long-awaited full rollout of the SEPTA Key fare card on the Regional Rail system is less than two weeks away.

Starting July 13, casual Regional Rail riders should be able to pay with the stored-value "Travel Wallet" on their SEPTA Key cards. 

Right now, only riders with a weekly or monthly TrailPass can use their Key card to ride the rails. 

And also on July 13, a culture change: All Regional Rail commuters will be required to tap their cards on validators at the beginning and end of their trip.

SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards said there will be a grace period.

"There will be 'tap forgiveness' early on, as people get used to this new habit,” she explained. 

At some undetermined date, likely after Labor Day, riders who don't tap in will be charged the maximum Zone 4 fare of $6.50. 

The SEPTA Key fare card was introduced for city transit in 2016, and Rich Burnfield, SEPTA's deputy general manager, said it took this long to be fully implemented on the Regional Rails.

"It was a lot of technology, a lot of hardware, a lot of software that has to be tested,” he said. 

Burnfield said SEPTA believed a gradual rollout would give riders time to get used to the new tap-and-go routine.

Still on the horizon, he said, is an "open payment" system that would give riders the ability to pay with credit cards or their cell phones.