Free rides start on Regional Rail for SEPTA Key-toting seniors

Charles Mostoller

Riding on SEPTA for senior citizens is already a pretty sweet deal: you can get on any transit for free with valid ID – buses, trolleys, the subway, the el. It’s one of the many perks you get for being 65 or older (discounted movie tickets, Social Security checks, and a multitude of other benefits). Now, the SEPTA Key is making transit even easier for seniors.

On the Regional Rail, tickets for seniors have historically cost just $1 – or for rides out-of-state from or to New Jersey or Delaware, half of a regular weekday fare.

But in-state rides on the Regional Rail will be free for seniors who have a SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID Card, starting Sept. 1, 2018.

Also as of that date, state-issued Senior Citizen Transit IDs will no longer be accepted to get senior discounts. Regional Rails to-and-from out of state destinations will remain at the same price.

And to make sure seniors are getting the maximum bang for their buck, SEPTA is offering discounts to seniors who pre-paid for tickets at the old price. Any senior citizens who paid to pre-purchase discounted strips of Regional Rail tickets at the old, pre-Sept. 1 prices ($8.50/$.85 per ticket), can get a refund.

Some 149,000 senior SEPTA Keys have already been issued since 2016. The SEPTA Seniors Free Rides program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery.

A senior citizen of Philadelphia can use SEPTA Key

SEPTA Key: Bang for your senior buck

Still haven’t got your SEPTA Key? You can pick up a Key by heading to SEPTA headquarters or Suburban station.

To get a same-day SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID Card, just stop SEPTA Headquarters (1234 Market St.) from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., or at Suburban Station’s Accessible Travel Center (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Seniors will need to fill out an application and provide a form of identification, such as:

-Pennsylvania Driver/Non-Driver ID

-Birth Certificate or Baptismal Certificate

-Yellow PACE Card (Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the elderly)

-Statement of Age Verification from the U.S. Social Security Administration

-Armed Forces Discharge/Separation Papers

-Resident Alien Card or Passport/Naturalization Papers

Seniors can also register at the Transportation Management Associations (TMA) of Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, but delivery may require up to four weeks.

Want a refund on Regional Rail SEPTA tickets pre-purchased at the old price? You must mail them in to SEPTA by the end of 2018.

Seniors can get 85 cent-per-ticket refund by mailing the original ticket and their mailing address to: SEPTA Senior Ticket Refunds, PO Box 58609, Philadelphia, PA 19102-8609.

Refund Requests must be mailed in no later than Dec. 31, 2018. 

For more info visit or call SEPTA Customer Service at (215) 580-7800. 

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