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How Jawnt and the City of Philadelphia are providing over 10,000 employees with access to unlimited transit
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How Jawnt and the City of Philadelphia are providing over 10,000 employees with access to unlimited transit

Starting 9/1/23 over 10,000 City of Philadelphia employees will be able to use their SEPTA Key card for unlimited access to all of SEPTA’s rail and bus system.

Jawnt Team
September 1, 2023

Starting today over 10,000 City of Philadelphia employees will be able to use their SEPTA Key card for unlimited access to all of SEPTA’s rail and bus system, thanks to the City’s recent investment in SEPTA Key Advantage. It’s a huge initiative for the City of Philadelphia that fosters a more equitable transit system by saving money for City employees and serving as a model for other employers.

Jawnt, SEPTA, City Administrators, and City employees at our one of our in-person registration events

Since July 2022, Jawnt has worked with SEPTA to roll out the SEPTA Key Advantage program, which allows local institutions to purchase all-access SEPTA passes at a discounted rate for their employees. The program has attracted nearly two dozen Philadelphia employers since its official launch in March 2023, spanning a variety of industries from healthcare to technology to higher education.

The City of Philadelphia is now providing this benefit to 22,000 full-time, part-time and provisional employees. As of today, almost 11,000 of these employees have enrolled in the program through Jawnt, and that number will continue to grow in the coming weeks as employees continue to hear about how great the initiative is. With the City’s commuter benefit ordinance in place, the Jawnt team is gearing up for a new wave of Philadelphia employers to join the SEPTA Key Advantage program. 

Announcing the launch (L to R): Will Sanderson, Cofounder, Jawnt; Jen Scimone, Manager, Business Development, Financial Operations, SEPTA; Leslie Richards, GM & CEO, SEPTA; Jim Kenney, Mayor, Philadelphia; Marsha Greene Jones, Deputy Director, Human Resources, City of Philadelphia, Chris Puchalsky, Director of Policy & Strategic Initiatives, OTIS

How we got here

In March 2023, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney proposed a $9 million annual budget to provide free transit passes to all City employees. The SEPTA team quickly began prepping alongside Jawnt for the thousands of riders that would enroll in the program.

Throughout August, Jawnt joined SEPTA and City officials at 13 in-person Key Card distribution events for City employees to register a card and/or enroll in the benefit. These events connected Jawnt with a variety of City workers—from librarians to sanitation workers, firefighters to water department engineers—who shared their experiences with transit and the many ways this benefit will impact their everyday lives.

Why does SEPTA Key Advantage matter for the City?

With SEPTA Key Advantage, employees for the City of Philadelphia will unlock far more than free rail or bus rides; they’ll receive a key to the city. Free transit incentivizes riders to revisit neighborhoods they may not have visited since the pandemic, or offer an alternative to the car traffic that clogs our roadways, slows our commutes, and negatively impacts the environment. 

Beyond employee perks, the City will reap several benefits from the SEPTA Key Advantage program. Transit benefits are often touted as a tool to attract and retain workers, and to entice remote workers back into the office.

The program will "support our goals of sustainability, traffic safety, and equity as well.” - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

SEPTA also stands to benefit from the City’s participation in the program as it works to recover its pre-pandemic ridership levels. At a recent press conference, SEPTA CEO and GM Leslie Richards said

The program “is already helping SEPTA rebuild its ridership while bolstering an inclusive recovery for the region.” - Leslie Richards, CEO & GM, SEPTA

How can my company get involved?

Several prominent Philadelphia employers have joined SEPTA Key Advantage, including Drexel, Penn Medicine, Wawa, and now the City itself. A host of smaller companies, from technology firms to preschools to senior care centers, are participating as well. If your company is interested in following suit and offering your employees a key to the city, consider working with Jawnt.

Jawnt’s unified transit benefits platform can integrate with virtually any HRIS system, allowing our team to take the hassle out of managing employee rosters, employee enrollment, benefit management, and customer service.

To learn more, visit our website or download our latest whitepaper on institutional fare programs.


Thanks to everyone at the City of Philadelphia and SEPTA who have been such great partners throughout the launch of th!

Jawnt Team

The Jawnt blog

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