SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Discussion relating to Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (Philadelphia Metro Area). Official web site can be found here: www.septa.com. Also including discussion related to the PATCO Speedline rapid transit operated by Delaware River Port Authority. Official web site can be found here: http://www.ridepatco.org/.

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rdgrailfan
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Location: EASTERN SHORE MARYLAND / part time Pennsylvania

Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rdgrailfan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:20 am

Septa must be bleeding cash based on the present system
I rode in from Glenside yesterday, Only one tap out of five was working on the inbound platform was working.
Conductor did not have a working scanner, broken as usual was his comment.
Center city gates open ...staff telling you to walk through...no tap out required

Going home just walked in since they were still out of service. the scanner would not work with half the cards as the conductor attempted to read the fare cards.
Something is really wrong

rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:46 am

rdgrailfan wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:20 am
Septa must be bleeding cash based on the present system
I rode in from Glenside yesterday, Only one tap out of five was working on the inbound platform was working.
Conductor did not have a working scanner, broken as usual was his comment.
Center city gates open ...staff telling you to walk through...no tap out required

Going home just walked in since they were still out of service. the scanner would not work with half the cards as the conductor attempted to read the fare cards.
Something is really wrong
I am not sure how this is a sign of bleeding revenue because the vast majority of people using Key are buying weekly or monthly passes. Independence Passes might be a different story, but you will like still activate it once going through a Center City station. Sure there might be some trying to avoid paying appropriate fares, but my card is getting scanned more often than not. (4 out of 5 times a week inbound and being forced to scan when entering Suburban daily (verification is occurring 3 out of 5 days outbound)).

It might be an indication why the mobile option is not being implemented at this time.

JimBoylan
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JimBoylan » Tue Aug 27, 2019 6:29 am

rcthompson04 wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 5:46 am
I am not sure how this is a sign of bleeding revenue because the vast majority of people using Key are buying weekly or monthly passes.
The "bleeding" is because under the Key Card fare increase, passes are no longer Unlimited, but have a finite number of trips on them.

ryan92084
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ryan92084 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:45 am

Started handing out notices that 9/15 is the last week for zone 2 weeklies today despite the fact that zone 3 weeklies are still going strong into September. Also didn't get notices for zone 3 monthlies which should be on sale for the last time currently.

I doubt they are bleeding much at all over this at least no worse than they were before they started manning the center city stairs during rush hour when all of the Silverliner Vs were taken out of service (I heard ticket collections were up by 30% during that time). Depending on how the contract deals with delays and downtime ACS Transport Solutions Group might be regretting winning the bid though.

I haven't heard anything about mobile payments in a long time.

dcipjr
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by dcipjr » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:40 am

SEPTA really should consider allowing travel-wallet riders on the rail (when it launches) to just use contactless credit cards instead of a Key—and I mean without a surcharge.

It's not cash, and it's not onboard, so it shouldn't incur an onboard / cash surcharge, and If you're an occasional rider, it's much more convenient than having to get a Key card—just show up to the station, tap your card or phone, and ride. Accepting contactless credit cards helps mitigate issues concerning not having ticket vending machines at every station, and makes the issue of expiring cards less of a hassle for SEPTA.

I'd imagine their system could preauthorize the credit card for the max fare at the tap-in point, and then finalize the charge for the actual fare at the tap-out point—something like this must be being done for travel wallet balances on the Key anyway.

Need a pass? Get a Key card. Need a ride? Tap your credit card or phone, or get a Key card if you don't have a credit card.

ryan92084
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ryan92084 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:54 am

Just like any other of these systems they'll likely be making money off the money they are holding for you and getting a break on the processing fees.

JeffK
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Location: Western suburbs

Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JeffK » Tue Aug 27, 2019 1:31 pm

dcipjr wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:40 am
SEPTA really should consider allowing travel-wallet riders on the rail (when it launches) to just use contactless credit cards instead of a Key—and I mean without a surcharge
While e-payments do incur small processing fees (IIRC 2%-3%) for the merchant, letting the card/app issuers handle processing etc. should be a lot less hassle for SEPTA than setting up and maintaining their own in-house transaction engine* . The issuers have huge, well-established, and robust networks that SEPTA should use just like any other merchant.
... if you're an occasional rider, it's much more convenient than having to get a Key card—just show up to the station, tap your card or phone, and ride. Accepting contactless credit cards helps mitigate issues concerning not having ticket vending machines at every station, and makes the issue of expiring cards less of a hassle for SEPTA.
Amen. It would offer the merely bleedin' obvious benefit of encouraging ridership by making payment no more complex than buying a sandwich.
It's not cash, and it's not onboard, so it shouldn't incur an onboard / cash surcharge.
The inveterate cynic in me says that the pot of "found money" generated by the surcharge (maybe $1-$2 million a year) is just too much for them to let go of, especially given other nickel-and-dime revenue streams that have been lost due to the Key's deficiencies.

* The expense of operating their own transaction engine is one "explanation" (= excuse) I've been given for retaining the surcharge on open payments.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

WashingtonPark
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by WashingtonPark » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:10 pm

"While e-payments do incur small processing fees (IIRC 2%-3%) for the merchant, letting the card/app issuers handle processing etc. should be a lot less hassle for SEPTA than setting up and maintaining their own in-house transaction engine* . The issuers have huge, well-established, and robust networks that SEPTA should use just like any other merchant."

I don't think merchants have a bunch of political hires they're required to find jobs for. :-)

rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:58 pm

WashingtonPark wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:10 pm
"While e-payments do incur small processing fees (IIRC 2%-3%) for the merchant, letting the card/app issuers handle processing etc. should be a lot less hassle for SEPTA than setting up and maintaining their own in-house transaction engine* . The issuers have huge, well-established, and robust networks that SEPTA should use just like any other merchant."

I don't think merchants have a bunch of political hires they're required to find jobs for. :-)
I used to think it was impossible to get rid of such positions, but the Turnpike Commission seems to be having relative easy eliminating toll collectors through attrition and just jacking up the prices for non-EZ-Pass users.

rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:30 am

Philly Inquirer attack Key for enabling fare evasion...

https://www.inquirer.com/news/septa-key ... 90903.html

Not really sure if this is because of the Key. You could do the same thing with legacy passes. Key makes it harder because you have to wait several minutes before you can tap Key again while the legacy passes you could do the same thing near instantaneously. This is more of a function of tokens going away, which the press (as usual) seems to lack the brainpower to realize.

mcgrath618
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by mcgrath618 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 11:50 am

Hey everyone,
Just confirming that the Key will give you a free ride on the CTA for some weird reason.

JeffK
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JeffK » Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:59 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:30 am
Philly Inquirer attack Key for enabling fare evasion...

https://www.inquirer.com/news/septa-key ... 90903.html

Not really sure if this is because of the Key. You could do the same thing with legacy passes. Key makes it harder because you have to wait several minutes before you can tap Key again while the legacy passes you could do the same thing near instantaneously. This is more of a function of tokens going away, which the press (as usual) seems to lack the brainpower to realize.
Sharing was common with legacy passes. There were stories about how families would buy a couple of cards and share them with their kids, etc. on weekends. When I worked in town it was common for people who e.g. commuted from NJ to borrow someone's Transpass for lunch trips and the like.

But yeah, the impediments the Key places in the path of people who don't fit SEPTA's "ideal rider" model are certainly at the core of this new, uh, "business". The Key was originally ballyhooed as a full-function replacement for tokens but we all know how that's worked out. :(

[FWIW, I've written to Jason Laughlin a couple of times in an effort to focus on the Key's major failure points but it hasn't gone very far. E.g. it took the (expensive) Pew report before he wrote anything about the Key's effects on poorer riders, something we've been looking at here for ages.]
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:17 pm

JeffK wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 12:59 pm
But yeah, the impediments the Key places in the path of people who don't fit SEPTA's "ideal rider" model are certainly at the core of this new, uh, "business". The Key was originally ballyhooed as a full-function replacement for tokens but we all know how that's worked out. :(
This is not new for the reasons you noted. An interesting aspect of Key is that it encourages me to use non-Regional Rail services more when I don't purchase a pass for a month. Being out in Zone 4 and in months where I use Regional Rail less than 14 times, I set the card up to load an Independence Pass daily and use it. Before I would have used Regional Rail tickets and never used other SEPTA services. I am their ideal Regional Rail user so I admit I am far from a representative sample.

MACTRAXX
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by MACTRAXX » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:37 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:30 am
Philly Inquirer attack Key for enabling fare evasion...

https://www.inquirer.com/news/septa-key ... 90903.html

Not really sure if this is because of the Key. You could do the same thing with legacy passes. Key makes it harder because you have to wait several minutes before you can tap Key again while the legacy passes you could do the same thing near instantaneously. This is more of a function of tokens going away, which the press (as usual) seems to lack the brainpower to realize.
RCT and Everyone:

I read today's Inquirer report about new types of fare problems that have arisen in recent times especially
since SEPTA tokens and transfers have been eliminated...

Enterprising "swipers" have been "working" NYC Subway stations for some years - what they do is purchase
a group of Unlimited Ride Metrocards and collect a cash entrance fare that is less than the NYC $2.75 regular
transit fare or the $3 single ride card fare. The card is then "rotated" for the 18 minute entrance time limit
which all Metrocards have when used at the same Subway station (or same bus route).

The difference between NYCT Subway and SEPTA's Rapid Transit Lines is that the station clerk's booth sits
away from the turnstile line in most if not all NYC Subway stations as compared to the cashiers booth right
at the fareline in Philadelphia. There is even more vigilance for farebeaters with this setup.

SEPTA Legacy Passes can NOT be passed back - their only restriction is an 18 minute "lockout" at the same
subway station or on the same bus route to prevent this type of fare abuse. All Legacy passes offer unlimited
rides and would probably be easier to use than the Key for "enterprising" riders that want to sell rides...

MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

ryan92084
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ryan92084 » Tue Sep 03, 2019 7:09 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:17 pm
This is not new for the reasons you noted. An interesting aspect of Key is that it encourages me to use non-Regional Rail services more when I don't purchase a pass for a month. Being out in Zone 4 and in months where I use Regional Rail less than 14 times, I set the card up to load an Independence Pass daily and use it. Before I would have used Regional Rail tickets and never used other SEPTA services. I am their ideal Regional Rail user so I admit I am far from a representative sample.
The independence pass snafu and subsequent rule changes have definitely taken over the zone 4 fares assuming they can be kept in stock.

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