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What Interests Employers and Employees the Most About SEPTA Key Advantage

September 16, 2022

Written by our partners at jawnt.

A few weeks ago, we worked with SEPTA to launch the interest form for the new SEPTA Key Advantage program (more info on that from SEPTA here). Through this program, employers can provide discounted all-access SEPTA passes to their employees. Employers benefit from a new return-to-office perk, employees get easier access to work, and SEPTA gets new rider growth - truly a win-win-win.

The responses to the opening of the program were overwhelmingly positive. As a part of the form, users were asked to share more about themselves, their role and company, and why this was important to them. Here are some of the highlights:

No shock here: employees liked the idea of saving money on their commute… but employers also liked the idea of enhancing employee compensation packages

In response to ‘Why are you most interested’ - by far the top reason was related to cost. The program is highly competitive on this front - passes that typically would be sold for anywhere from $75-200 / month are being offered for under $30 during the trial period. Employees loved the savings. And employers have the option of providing this at no-cost to their employees - a highly differentiated benefit in this competitive market for talent. We heard from employers who participated in this pilot that it was good for their company, the city, and the environment - a win / win / win. And we heard from riders who participated in the pilot they felt like their employers were giving them a raise!

Employers and employees value the climate impact of riding transit

Employers valued the commitment to the environment that this perk demonstrates. Employees valued reducing carbon footprint. This perfectly aligns with what we typically hear when it comes to new benefits initiatives: it must make financial sense and sustainability comes second.

Transportation is the single largest emitter of carbon, about 30% of greenhouse gases in the US. Switching a commute from cars to transit can reduce commuting emissions by 67%. (source). Additionally, our roads and parking lots are congested. Building more parking or expanding freeways does not reduce congestion, it induces demand for more private automobiles. And more parking lots and roads means more heat islands and less space for our natural environment. In 2021 city officials and policy experts agreed that we must double the use of transit to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

Employers have a spectrum of existing transit benefits, though many still have none

The most popular existing benefits were for parking reimbursements and pre-tax, commuter debit cards - the current de facto standards. But with new legislation arriving in Philadelphia on January 1, 2023 (more info on our blog here), employers should begin thinking about what this means to them.

We’re excited about the launch of SEPTA Key Advantage (can’t you tell? 🙂) and are ready to work with your HR / Benefits team to discuss any of your open questions. If you too are interested in improving your compensation package or demonstrating a commitment to the environment, please reach out to get started!

jawnt’s direct integration with employer payroll / benefits systems enables frictionless management of SEPTA Key Advantage, ensuring eligible employees are onboarded without issue and employee rosters are kept up to date. Let your HR team focus on the things that matter to them - not administering transit benefits. We can handle the process from start to finish - get started with jawnt today to learn more.