• 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/.
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/.

Moderator: AlexC

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  by dcipjr
 
Thanks, all.

My Key card expired late last year, due to the short 3-year expiration date.

Inexplicably, there is no way to order a replacement card online, so I had to trek to my local train station to buy a new Key card at the ticket office—which is only open for a short time each morning, and never on weekends.

When I asked at the ticket window, the staff member told me that there's no way for my relative to travel on SEPTA without paying the cash fare, short of buying a Key card—which doesn't make sense to do, since they're from out of town.

I have ample funds on my Key card—and no way to use them to purchase a fare for a second person. If there were fare kiosks at outlying stations, this wouldn't be a problem, but of course there are no kiosks.

It's sad that after many years and many taxpayer dollars, this is the best that SEPTA can come up with.
  by ryan92084
 
Not really sure what the benefit of fare kiosks would be besides allowing the conductor's to handle less cash. The plan is to let the current key readers also charge other nfc devices (phones and potentially credit cards) at the same rate as the on board price. For people needing key cards outside the normal "ticket" office hours there are quite a lot of 3rd party vendors but I haven't checked what kind of options those establishments offer.
  by JeffK
 
dcipjr wrote:Thanks, all.
My Key card expired late last year, due to the short 3-year expiration date.

Inexplicably, there is no way to order a replacement card online, so I had to trek to my local train station to buy a new Key card at the ticket office—which is only open for a short time each morning, and never on weekends.

When I asked at the ticket window, the staff member told me that there's no way for my relative to travel on SEPTA without paying the cash fare, short of buying a Key card—which doesn't make sense to do, since they're from out of town.

I have ample funds on my Key card—and no way to use them to purchase a fare for a second person. If there were fare kiosks at outlying stations, this wouldn't be a problem, but of course there are no kiosks.

It's sad that after many years and many taxpayer dollars, this is the best that SEPTA can come up with.
My senior Key expired 18 months ago - and I don't mean the date, I mean the card itself quit working. Pre-pandemic, I took it to 1234 (thanks to an understanding RRD conductor) to see what could be done and I was told that it was considered deliberate damage (!!!!) which would be subject to a $25 replacement penalty. I escalated through several levels of bureaucracy to no avail. I finally received a generic letter saying expired cards can be replaced, but ONLY if the holder sets up an appointment at 1234 and appears in person. PennDOT is renewing driver's licenses online using your prior photo, so it makes no sense why SEPTA should set up so many extra hoops.

They've been promising a multi-tap option for years but so far, nothing. Even NY-MTA allows multi-tap payment on its subway cards.
ryan92084 wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:28 am Not really sure what the benefit of fare kiosks would be besides allowing the conductors to handle less cash. The plan is to let the current key readers also charge other nfc devices (phones and potentially credit cards) at the same rate as the on board price. For people needing key cards outside the normal "ticket" office hours there are quite a lot of 3rd party vendors but I haven't checked what kind of options those establishments offer.
Kiosks would offer the option of paying the pre-purchased fare rather than on-board. Assuming SEPTA made the machines flexible enough 😜😂 they could offer the option of buying special tickets like a family fare, etc. without conductors needing to handle extra paperwork.

As originally presented, payment by nfc devices was supposed to be at the Key-card rate but the prospect of dinking irregular riders and non-locals is obviously too tempting. Some very rough estimates based on SEPTA's figures for non-Key payments indicate they're getting somewhere north of $1.5 million a year in "found money".

[/rant] I've used transit systems in nearly 20 cities in half a dozen countries, and none of them are as opaque as SEPTA. It reminds me of stories I heard from eaat-European friends about trying to accomplish simple tasks in the days of Soviet rule.
  by Head-end View
 
Yeah really..........Long Island Railroad has ticket vending machines at most outlying stations. Wouldn't it be possible to pressure SEPTA to get their act together if enough disgruntled people all contacted their state legislators with complaints?

Also re: replacing a damaged key card, wouldn't it be cheaper just to purchase a new card than to argue with SEPTA about the $25 dollar replacement fee or am I missing something here?
Last edited by nomis on Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:56 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: removed unnecessary quote
  by rcthompson04
 
The TVM issue reiterates my fundamental view that SEPTA really just needs to give Regional Rail to someone else to run.
Last edited by nomis on Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: removed unnecessary quote
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: Forcing the SEPTA Key on all riders regardless of travel type has not worked well as some at
the SEPTA Forum have noticed...I was against the elimination of RRD tickets leaving no reasonable
alternative over paying the on-board cash fare at most stations.

The only RRD tickets remaining are the three types used on/from the Trenton Line sold by NJT.
QT one way tickets are available at the five CCP stations and at PHL Airport.

Has anyone looked into how much each TVM would cost and where they would be placed on RRD?
Will some high-ridership RRD stations get more than one TVM?

TVMs also need surveillance of some type meaning more police presence and added cameras at stations.
Will SEPTA provide this increased security or will it be left to local police for the most part?

SEPTA should look closer at systems that provide smart card technology without the need for a debit card
with an expiration date such as what Pittsburgh's PAT provides with their low-initial price Connect Card.

There should be freedom of some choice for fares that unfortunately SEPTA now has a lack of...MACTRAXX
  by JeffK
 
Head-end View wrote: Thu Jun 03, 2021 3:34 pm re: replacing a damaged key card, wouldn't it be cheaper just to purchase a new card than to argue with SEPTA about the $25 dollar (sic) replacement fee or am I missing something here?
Senior Keys work differently from those held by y’all yungins. They have your photo and are supposed to be available without charge because senior travel’s funded by the state lottery. Rather than buying a new card your existing one is just supposed to be renewed every N years. (Unlike regular Keys they don’t have a superfluous debit-card feature so why do they have to be renewed at all? Because, SEPTA ....)

25 bucks isn’t a hardship for me but it could easily be for a lot of people. If SEPTA is telling seniors with defective cards that “it’s all your fault, pay up”, to my cynical little brain that seems a bit underhanded.
The TVM issue reiterates my fundamental view that SEPTA really just needs to give Regional Rail to someone else to run.
Amen to that!!
Last edited by nomis on Fri Jun 04, 2021 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: fixed quote
  by Head-end View
 
Jeff, if the Senior Key Card lets you ride for free at all times, then a $25 replacement is still a good deal. You're still gaining a lot more than you lose. BTW, I'm a senior too but not from Pennsylvania. Can a non-Pa. resident get a senior key or is it restricted to state residents?
  by ExCon90
 
That point has been raised more than once, and as far as I know never answered conclusively. It seems to me, without looking it up, that it would be arguably unconstitutional for one state to grant free transportation to persons over a certain age and deny it to nonresidents of equivalent age. I have obtained senior ID cards from BART, Muni, and CalTrain, and Washington's WMATA while a resident of Pennsylvania, but that may be a matter of policy rather than a legal requirement. Of course such arrangements can be a good way of attracting tourists, but I don't know whether SEPTA is comfortable with that concept.
  by GirlOnTheTrain
 
It sounds like you have to apply in person and get an appointment. Good luck with obtaining an appointment. From what I can see it doesn't look like residing out of state precludes you from receiving the card though.
https://www.septa.org/fares/discount/disabled-id.html
http://septa.org/service/cct/#seniorFree
http://septa.org/key/faq.html
  by WashingtonPark
 
Head-end View wrote: Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:50 pm Jeff, if the Senior Key Card lets you ride for free at all times, then a $25 replacement is still a good deal. You're still gaining a lot more than you lose. BTW, I'm a senior too but not from Pennsylvania. Can a non-Pa. resident get a senior key or is it restricted to state residents?
I'm from New Jersey and they gave me one.
  by CNJGeep
 
Out of state residents are able to make an appointment.
  by ryan92084
 
If the system had their crap together with smartphone/nfc payments at the validators like they should have launched with there wouldn't be a need for advanced sales imo. Family independence passes are dead last i heard and they don't intend to allow the purchase of anything but a one way fare without a key. I don't agree with that decision but it does take the point of a fare box out of the equation assuming they do eventually get the smartphone/nfc payments rolling.

With regards to the senior key card only your second replacement is supposed to cost $25 but afaik it isn't the second card every X years but the second replacement ever. The first replacement is supposed to be only $5 but they do make sure to say this applies to "lost or stolen cards" and do not mention "damaged" ones. Normally your local state congressman would be the intended "convenient" option for acquiring a senior key but the pandemic has that dead and it wasn't particularly convenient in the first place. The by appointment only at 1234 and Suburban being unavailable is also due to covid.
  by dcipjr
 
I was passing through LA a couple weeks ago, and I decided to go out to Santa Monica on the Metro for the day. At Union Station, I pulled out my iPhone, went to the Wallet app, clicked on the + icon, and right from within the built-in Wallet app, I was able to add a LA Metro TAP card to my virtual wallet, put a couple bucks on it, tap, and go.

WMATA apparently has the same setup.

The technology is there to be able to get a smart card for transit, right on your phone, in seconds. No third-party apps. It could not be easier.

Why isn't SEPTA doing this?
  by ryan92084
 
that (or something similar) is the plan but they need all new readers for it. Was supposed to pilot last year but covid.
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