Septa tokens, which have been a staple of subway and bus transportation in Philadelphia for over 100 years, are finally going away this March 1st.
The city will be fully embracing their electronic systems, including the quick trip kiosks and the Septa Key Card.
For some months after, employees will still accept the tokens, good for “one trip only.” However sales will completely cease on March 1st and any remaining token vending machines will be removed from stations.
The phasing out of tokens has been in the works for some time, although the full 25% of Philadelphia transit users have yet to switch. The complete removal could be a controversial subject for the many residents who have been using these token system for years.
For some, however, this change has been long overdue. Cities have incorporated magnetic keycards for decades, and some like New York have entirely phased out tokens since 2003. In fact, Philadelphia is currently the last major U.S. city to still sell subway tokens for their transit system.
Though many find the card system more convenient, some say that the tokens have a historical value. They represent the Philadelphia mint and have been in use since the late 1800s. While change is inevitable, moving on from the classic token design will signal the end of an era.