I write about social justice and explore how race, gender, sexuality, and class shape our lives in uneven ways.Â Philadelphia is the last big American city that still uses tokens on transit, butÂ MondayÂ marks the last day SEPTA will sellÂ the coins to most ridersÂ (with a few exceptions). The move comes as the transit agency has alreadyÂ removedÂ token vending machines at El and subway stopsÂ in favor of theÂ SEPTA Key card and QuickTrips fare tools.
Sales of tokens have plummeted since June 2016, when the Key rollout started. SEPTA was selling 3.5 million tokens per month at the time, compared to just slightly more than one million last month.
Hereâs what you need to know about the end of token sales: Yes. SEPTA says it will accept tokens for the âforeseeable future.â Yes, retailers such as grocery and convenience stores can still do so.
Social service agencies will also continue to be able to receive tokensÂ in bulk. It will cost $4.95 to purchase a Key card starting Friday, but SEPTA says if you register the card within 30 days of purchasing it, that money can be used toward individual rides.
The minimum amount needed to load funds onto the Key cardâs travel wallet will also drop from $10 to $5 starting Friday, SEPTA says. As my colleague Jason Laughlin pointed out in his eulogy for the token: SEPTA first introduced tokens for students in 1968, but before the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority existed, there was the Philadelphia Transportation Co., and before that the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Co., and tokens paid for rides on those, too. Read more from philly.com…
thumbnail courtesy of philly.com