A group called Riders Against Gender Exclusion has been pushing for the change for several years. They say the stickers placed on passes can lead to confusion, embarrassment and even denial of service for transgender riders.
The stickers are an anti-fraud device to keep people from sharing the passes, which have no other identifying information.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said Thursday that the decision was unrelated to the group's protest.
A SEPTA spokesman said a new "smart card" system begins rolling out in 2013 to allow bus, subway, trolley and rail passengers to pay for their trips by tapping a card on an electronic reader.
Information from: WCAU-TV, http://www.nbc10.com