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Press Release: City of Philadelphia Joins SEPTA’s Key Advantage Program to Provide New Free Transit Benefit for Eligible Employees

Press Release: City of Philadelphia Joins SEPTA’s Key Advantage Program to Provide New Free Transit Benefit for Eligible Employees

Mayor Jim Kenney announced today the City of Philadelphia will provide a new free transit benefit for all City employees as part of its participation in the SEPTA Key Advantage program.

Jawnt Team
August 28, 2023

Originally published on Phila.Gov

For immediate release: August 28, 2023 Published by: Office of the Chief Administrative Officer Contact: Kelsey Hubbell

On September 1, 2023 about 22,000 eligible City employees will have free access to SEPTA as part of their benefits package

PHILADELPHIA- Mayor Jim Kenney announced today the City of Philadelphia will provide a new free transit benefit for all City employees as part of its participation in the SEPTA Key Advantage program. SEPTA Key Advantage allows institutions to acquire SEPTA Key cards directly from the Authority and distribute them to their employees. SEPTA Key Advantage passes can be used on all SEPTA modes. On September 1, 2023, all permanent full-time, part-time, and provisional City employees will be eligible to participate in the new free program.

The City of Philadelphia is the largest employer in the region to take advantage of the program, and is now among Drexel, Penn Medicine, and Wawa in providing this benefit to employees. Encouraging transit ridership supports the City’s efforts to be environmentally conscious and socially responsible. It is also a huge cost saving benefit to City employees.

“As part of the City’s 2024 Fiscal Year budget, our Administration has proudly committed $9 million per year to join other large employers in the region participating in the SEPTA Key Advantage program and provide free transit to all eligible City employees,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “This two-year pilot is an opportunity to boost the City’s hiring and retention efforts, and support our goals of sustainability, traffic safety, and equity as well.”

Enrollment for eligible City of Philadelphia employees opened on July 18, 2023. Eligible employees automatically received an email to begin the enrollment process. The City also held 13 in-person Key Card distribution events for City employees who needed to obtain a Key Card. Representatives from SEPTA and the third-party administrator, Jawnt, were available to answer questions and help employees register their Key Card and enroll.  

“Throughout July and August, we have been signing employees up for the program and it has been overwhelmingly successful,” stated the City’s Chief Administrative Officer Stephanie Tipton. “As of August 28, nearly 10,000 City employees have enrolled in the SEPTA Key Advantage program.  We want to thank our labor partners for working with us on extending this benefit to our represented employees as well. This benefit will encourage transit ridership and save employees money on their transit costs. It is a win-win for employees, SEPTA, and Philadelphia.”

Subsidizing the cost of transit for City of Philadelphia employees, a workforce of over 30,000 people, supports SEPTA’s commitment to invest in better, cleaner vehicles, more service frequency, and justifies improvements like real time bus arrival boards.  

“We are thrilled the City has decided to extend the SEPTA Key Advantage transportation benefit to City employees,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “With the City’s participation, close to 55,000 people are eligible for SEPTA Key Advantage at nearly two dozen institutions. Now in its second year, this revolutionary program is already helping SEPTA rebuild its ridership while bolstering an inclusive recovery for the region.”

“The City’s participation in the Key Advantage program will reduce congestion, air pollution, and traffic crashes, all while putting a few extra dollars in the pockets of City workers. This program shows the City’s commitment to executing on the Philadelphia Transit Plan through encouraging ridership among its entire employee base,” said Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives at the City’s Office of Transportation, Infrastructure, and Sustainability (OTIS) Dr. Christopher Puchalsky.

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia looks forward to continuing to provide its employees with a vibrant work environment, comprehensive healthcare and benefits, and the experiences they need to grow and excel as they make an impact in Philadelphia.

Onboarding and enrollment for City employees is done through Jawnt, a unified transit platform used by SEPTA to onboard businesses to the Key Advantage Program.

“We applaud the City for its exemplary role in providing its 22,000+ employees with subsidized access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable transportation options,” said COO and Co-Founder of Jawnt Will Sanderson, a Philadelphia-based transportation technology company and the benefit administrator for SEPTA Key Advantage. “SEPTA Key Advantage is one of the most innovative transit pass programs in the country, and we’re honored to provide the City and its employees with the comprehensive platform needed to make this program a success.”

For more information about career opportunities with the City of Philadelphia, visit  

View here photos from the City’s Key Card distribution events for eligible City employees.  

About the City of Philadelphia: A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact.

About SEPTA Key Advantage: SEPTA Key Advantage is an employer-based, all-access employee benefit program. Employers with 500 or more employees can enter an agreement with SEPTA, which allows employers to load “all access” passes once per month to eligible employee SEPTA Key cards. Like any benefit program, employers would include 100% of their employees regardless of whether all employees fully utilize this benefit. Just like the Monthly Anywhere TrailPass, passes loaded through the SEPTA Key Advantage program can be used on all SEPTA modes, including Regional Rail, Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, Norristown High Speed Line, CCT, and city and suburban buses and trolleys.  

About Jawnt: Jawnt is a transportation technology company focused on helping more people access their cities through public and shared transit. Jawnt partners directly with transit and mobility providers to increase the ease of purchasing passes and riding transit. The Jawnt platform enables employers to offer better, unified transit benefits for their entire workforce and includes HR/payroll integrations, analytics, ongoing support, and more. For more, visit

Jawnt Team

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