• 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

  by mbm537
 
I do not know why Septa at this point continues to pursue a costly card based system when an app based system is the future.
I continue to shake my head at descriptions of this Key Card system. I grew up in Delco, lived in Philly the first part of my adult life and still have family in the burbs there, but I've been in NYC 36 years now. As we transition from Metro Card to OMNY, you can now use your phone wallet to pay the subway fare. Quite often, I also have to use NJ Transit, Metro North and LIRR, and buying tickets on the apps and activating them is a breeze.

In fact, it looks like the easiest way to use SEPTA is to buy a NYC-30th St. Philadelphia ticket on my NJ Transit app. Of course I don't know what will happen once I get there. Do I have to jump the turnstile to get out?

And of course once I'm out, then I have to deal with the Key system. Arggh!
  by MACTRAXX
 
MBM: Another interesting criticism of the SEPTA Key...

Answering your question concerning NJ Transit tickets sold on behalf of SEPTA there are three types available:
1-Trenton Line Intermediate valid to all stations Levittown to North Philadelphia inclusive - $3.75
2-Center City Philadelphia - 30th Street, Suburban Station and Jefferson (Market East) Station - $9.25
3-Anywhere "Tunnel" via Center City Philadelphia to any station on all other RRD lines - $9.25
These are the only paper tickets still available that are now valid on SEPTA RRD trains.

You will need a "physical" paper ticket to exit through the turnstiles at Center City Philadelphia stations.
These tickets have a "scan block" as NJ Transit Rail tickets have that will be valid for exit - or entry at a
CCP station to the Trenton Line. These tickets are checked and/or collected by gate attendants - there is
a scanning device specifically for these NJT-sold tickets at handicapped-accessible turnstile gates.

I am not a fan specifically of the ride "cap" limitations on passes implemented with the use of the SEPTA Key.
What were once unlimited ride Weekly, Monthly and one-day Independence Passes now have these limits:
Monthly-240 rides; Weekly-56 rides and one-day Independence Passes - 10 rides.

Beginning in March 2022 the MTA Omny Card will implement a new option for those using pay-per-ride:
If one uses more than 10 $2.75 rides within seven days ($27.50) all others become free for the rest of the
seven day period creating another unlimited card variation as a new OMNY incentive...MACTRAXX
  by CNJGeep
 
You can use your phone for the NJT tickets, they scan them at the handicap gate, just as they do with the paper ones.
  by JeffK
 
After following this whole Key CF for ages I still can't figure out any rationalization for SEPTA's insistence on digging their hole deeper and deeper.

My radar went off early on when the NPT plans started to firm up. I'd seen the same bullheadedness in various IT projects and none of them worked out well. One company strongly held to the "not invented here" mindset. They insisted on designing significant chunks of application frameworks from the ground up even though the needed functionality was already native to the platform. What they ended up with was slow, ergonomically clunky, and not industry standard but AFAIK they're still wedded to it. Another one built a little demo system on a limited-function base, then got caught in the "sunk cost" tar pit. Instead of rearchitecting the demo for production demand levels they decided they could save money by just pumping more and more data through the demo system.

SEPTA's taken both wrong paths with the Key - first insisting they had to create an in-house replica of the legacy system rather than seeking market input, then refusing to call a halt when it became clear their attempt wasn't feasible. There are times I think they're using Dilbert as a guidebook.
Last edited by JeffK on Wed Dec 29, 2021 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  by rcthompson04
 
JeffK wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:39 pm My radar went off early on when the NPT plans started to firm up. I'd seen the same bullheadedness in various IT projects and none of them worked out well.
This is pretty standard corporate IT project gone terribly wrong territory. Someone just needs to admit having Regional Rail and transit fares being handled by the same product is probably asking for trouble.

One thing that has amazed me on the Regional Rail side is how well commuters seem to be adapting to it. Maybe people have been gone for so long that they completely forgot the previously world.
  by MACTRAXX
 
CNJGeep wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 9:51 am You can use your phone for the NJT tickets, they scan them at the handicap gate, just as they do with the paper ones.
CNJ: Was not aware of this added option...Am I correct to mention the Trenton Line is the only RRD line that
regularly accepts E-Tickets from/sold by NJT for SEPTA connecting services onboard trains?
Will crews on connecting trains from CCP on other RRD routes honor an Anywhere "Tunnel" NJT E-Ticket
onboard?
If yes-good to know...
Happy New Year 2022 to everyone...
MACTRAXX
  by rcthompson04
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Thu Dec 30, 2021 9:25 am
CNJGeep wrote: Wed Dec 29, 2021 9:51 am You can use your phone for the NJT tickets, they scan them at the handicap gate, just as they do with the paper ones.
CNJ: Was not aware of this added option...Am I correct to mention the Trenton Line is the only RRD line that
regularly accepts E-Tickets from/sold by NJT for SEPTA connecting services onboard trains?
Will crews on connecting trains from CCP on other RRD routes honor an Anywhere "Tunnel" NJT E-Ticket
onboard?
If yes-good to know...
Happy New Year 2022 to everyone...
MACTRAXX
This sounds similar to Amtrak tickets for the CCP stations.
  by ExCon90
 
The Germans introduced a system a few decades ago in which the fare from one zone to another is the same regardless of mode or operator. In Philadelphia terms it would mean that the fare from Chestnut Hill to anywhere in Philadelphia would be a specified zone fare regardless of whether via 23 all the way, Regional Rail all the way, 23 to Wayne Jct., then train, 23 to Erie, then Broad St. Subway, or anything else that might be convenient. Or somebody along Lancaster Pike could take the 105 to a convenient point on the Malvern-Thorndale line and transfer there. Then once a year or something like that they do a census or sampling to see how many people went this way or that way and whack up next year's revenues (single fares to monthly passes) proportionally among the various operators involved. I assume it works acceptably for all participants, since they've been doing it all over Germany for some years now. But apparently SEPTA is afraid the water might be too cold for their big toe ...
  by JeffK
 
The last time I visited Berlin there were only two zones, A and B, both centered on the city core. A covered the central region and B was a ring covering the remainder. You could buy an A, B, or A+B ticket or pass. Bus, U-Bahn, S-Bahn etc. were all included; you could take whatever route/vehicle made the most sense for your trip - or for a railfan, whichever was the most interesting.

I mentioned this a long time ago but it's worth repeating. Every conversation I had with SEPTA officials at various Key meetings and presentations revealed a palpable fear that any new system would bring in less revenue. I'm convinced that fear accounts for a large swath of the boneheaded decisions they've made with respect to transfers, zones, RRD-vs-transit, and other debris dragged forward from the legacy systems.
  by PHLSpecial
 
JeffK wrote: Sun Jan 02, 2022 11:12 pm The last time I visited Berlin there were only two zones, A and B, both centered on the city core. A covered the central region and B was a ring covering the remainder. You could buy an A, B, or A+B ticket or pass. Bus, U-Bahn, S-Bahn etc. were all included; you could take whatever route/vehicle made the most sense for your trip - or for a railfan, whichever was the most interesting.

I mentioned this a long time ago but it's worth repeating. Every conversation I had with SEPTA officials at various Key meetings and presentations revealed a palpable fear that any new system would bring in less revenue. I'm convinced that fear accounts for a large swath of the boneheaded decisions they've made with respect to transfers, zones, RRD-vs-transit, and other debris dragged forward from the legacy systems.
Funny that they are worried about revenue but don't make it easier for us to pay. In fact they make it more difficult just using the key card system only. Let me buy tickets on my phone and at stations...
Septa officials don't see that every transit agency around the world sees the benefits of free transfers.
  by ExCon90
 
But the classic question around here is "but how do we know it'll work in Philadelphia?" I still remember the impassioned debates in the legislature in the 1970's about introducing 4-way stops at street intersections (at a time when about half of the states had had it for years) "How can it work? Nobody will know when to go!" Carnage was predicted, but it was finally adopted.
  by JeffK
 
ExCon90 wrote: Mon Jan 03, 2022 10:27 pm But the classic question around here is "but how do we know it'll work in Philadelphia?" I still remember the impassioned debates in the legislature in the 1970's about introducing 4-way stops at street intersections (at a time when about half of the states had had it for years) "How can it work? Nobody will know when to go!" Carnage was predicted, but it was finally adopted.
Heck, they're still spooked by roundabouts, which I encountered in the EU nearly 20 years ago. The standard argument against [insert otherwise well-established practice here] seems to be "well, we're not familiar with that so obviously it's never been done before."

The irony in all so many of SEPTA's G.E.L.D.* moves is that they've ended up making it more difficult to manage their revenue streams. I still wonder how much gating every CC station has cost, not to mention paying all those "ambassadors" for what, 18-24 months. Also they had to eliminate suburban transit zones when it dawned on them "tap off" wasn't practical on buses and trolleys. And they had to eliminate the $1 senior RRD charge because they never implemented a stored-value option for the Senior Key. OK, not a big loss but still an example of only thinking the change halfway through.
==============
* Get Every Last Dime ... but if you know German, Geld appropriately means MONEY.
  by rcthompson04
 
It boils down to being "GELD" while trying to treat everything the same. Key has been a cluster because Regional Rail is not like the rest of the system. Many of the issues that have arisen are driven by trying to make a transit system work with a commuter rail system. Any serious attempt at a replacement probably needs to separate the products or offer three products (transit product, commuter rail product and commuter rail with a transit card attached to it (MTA's MetroCard on commuter rail tickets).
  by ryan92084
 
The center city ambassadors that worked the stairs were a huge money maker. People were getting a lot more free rides than SEPTA ever thought.
  by ExCon90
 
As it is there's not nearly as much connectivity between Regional Rail and the trolleys, busses, and subways as there should be, and creating two rival turfs (they would inevitably see each other as rivals) would make things worse instead of better. Individual passengers don't think of themselves as being in one camp or the other; they think of their transportation needs for a particular trip. Cutting loose from the archaic fare structure of the 1940's (the PRR and RDG no longer compete with PTC -- the Philadelphia one -- and Red Arrow and P&W) would help to make SEPTA the unified area-wide transportation system it was intended to be. Trying to distinguish between regional rail and the rest would tend to solidify the (poor) city-vs.-(rich) suburban mindset which already exists in today's political climate.
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