• 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 rcthompson04
 
ExCon90 wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 11:12 pm 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.
Are they really even capable of being rivals? There is occasional overlaps in service, but most are servicing different clientele going different places. Trying to force an integration isn't helping either. SEPTA has been trying to force integration for 4 decades now. At a certain point we have to admit it isn't the right strategy. Key highlights it further.
  by JeffK
 
This story about New Orleans RTA is interesting. Per-passenger revenue actually remained stable under a pilot program that reduced and adjusted fares. No explanation given but conceivably more people may be riding and/or riding more often - ?

It also says that the next phase will eliminate charges for transfers and premium-service routes.

https://www.masstransitmag.com/technolo ... -structure

I can hear it now: "But, but ... Philadelphia is different."

Re fare integration, I wonder how much of the "different usage, different clientele" between transit and RRD is caused by the separate fare structures rather than the other way around. Obviously the economic landscape of Glenside or Devon will be way different from Fern Rock or Torresdale, but it's not clear to me whether some of the economic segregation of usage patterns might be lower if one mode didn't cost nearly twice as much as the other. If nothing else, would more people maybe use the RRD for at least parts of their trips, then transfer to transit? The BSL / C bus anomaly showed how additional fares distorted ridership just within the transit division so this isn't a purely hypothetical question.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone - SEPTA has issued a PDF describing Regional Rail ticket office changes effective February 7, 2022:
https://septa.org/alert/pdf/sales-locat ... 2-7-22.pdf
There are some interesting reductions in ticket office hours - with the most noteable example that there is
no more weekend ticket sales effective Saturday February 12 outside of Center City. Stations losing Saturday
sales include Jenkintown and Lansdale. Paoli - which was the only RRD station outside of CCP open seven
days/week is now going to be closed on Saturday and Sunday. Were these reductions due to slow returning
ridership levels or because of how and when the Key card is sold for RRD use? MACTRAXX
  by mcgrath618
 
Don’t those stations have Key Machines? If so, there really isn’t a need for a station agent on weekends.
I do like waiting inside though, especially in harsh weather. I forget which station it was, but one of the stops along the Media/Elwyn was completely rebuilt and now has a station shelter than can be accessed with the tap of your Key. I’d like to see this implemented elsewhere.
  by rcthompson04
 
Exton has such functionality. People can still wait at Paoli since Amtrak has a ticket office open 7 days a week.
  by ryan92084
 
A lot of the smaller ticket office changes were tightening up the times closer to the first/last train during business hours. Weekends were always pretty slow for ticketing but now that there is nothing to sell people who just want to go in for the day they have really plummeted. Also like most industries there are staffing issues.

Many offices are at least half setup for being able to open the door with a keycard. If Secane (the media/elwyn redone waiting room) is finally allowing that to happen it is news to me. I do know Secane still has the fun ticket office in a shipping container setup in the parking lot there.

Glad to see the multiple rider tap in the works, that has been a large sticking point for weekend/holiday group travel. No one wants to come in and stand around getting 10 keycards setup. Requiring autoload as that article states really kills the functionality though unless they are being chaperoned by a regular rider.

After ~2 years with the key being on the rail the main sticking points i still see are nothing to sell infrequent riders (they should have kept the independence passes until mobile was setup imo) and that there is no easy way to check your balance at most outlying stations.
  by PHLSpecial
 
I hope it will be one nice integrated app. Where I can both load my key card and buy tickets for the bus, trolley, subways and RR. It needs to be simple. Like muni in SF.

It's so dumb that you can't buy single RR tickets to from one station to another. It needs to be easier to pay for your ride and cheap as well.
  by ryan92084
 
Last time I read them talking about it there wouldn't be a key card discount for mobile payments, you'd be paying the standard on board rate without access to passes etc. The only benefit was tapping your phone instead of talking to a conductor/driver. Of course that was also when it was supposed to roll out in 2020/2021 so who knows now.
  by PHLSpecial
 
That is so stupid. Good lord the penny pinchers have terrible fare policies. We shall see they can make fare policies that fits todays public transit users. It's way to complicated.
  by ryan92084
 
They've heavily gone in the direction that i call the "ezPass" route. They want to hold your money until you use it. Works fine for people with the disposable income to load up the card with passes or several trips worth of travel wallet. Works poorly for those that just want to pay the exact amount for a trip every now and again.

I assume they or their partner is investing/earning on the balances akin to paypal. Also there are the eventual fees tied to unused accounts.
  by JeffK
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 7:13 am That is so stupid. Good lord the penny pinchers have terrible fare policies. We shall see they can make fare policies that fits today's public transit users. It's way too complicated.
I don't think anyone at 1234 has a clue about "simple". Back in the bad old days of tokens, etc. there were some travel scenarios where you could end up paying (IIRC) 4 or 5 different amounts depending on your payment method. The Key's only made a modest change to that pretzel.

And yes, the whole situation for occasional riders is ridiculous. I've long been convinced that the number of barriers to one-off purchases is intentional. A back-of-the-envelope guesstimate based on fare-source data points to at least a couple of mil per year gleaned from riders who pay full cash. Plus there's ill will and possible lost ridership. Admittedly it's anecdotal but I've seen lots of cases where riders have gotten into confrontations with conductors over the on-board fare, as well as groups/families who've vowed to drive next time.

My understanding about mobile payments etc. is the same as Ryan's, that they'll be treated like one-time cash fares with no extra flexibility. Still more G.E.L.D.*

* Get Every Last Dime. I'm SURE the fact that it's also the German word for "money" is pure coincidence 😛
  by PHLSpecial
 
JeffK that is a really good way of putting it, Septa treats the system like we are using tokens still.

I will pull from SF because I was there for a week using their transit system. You can buy a mobile ticket day pass for $5 for use the entire day. I bought the week muni pass for $41 for unlimited use. Yes it's more expensive that Septa but the point is it's easy to use, I understood it.
The clipper card is fantastic and you can use it on multiple systems. You can treat it like a travel wallet or you can buy a pass on the card, a bit more expansive($47). But it's a card where you can buy multiple passes for multiple systems.
Sure it was expensive but I was a happy customer using that system.

I'm not sure what fare policies are best but the one I experienced in SF is a good start.
  by JeffK
 
PHLSpecial wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 1:39 pm JeffK that is a really good way of putting it,
Thank you. I appreciate the props.
Septa treats the system like we are using tokens still.
While the Key's added some benefits like slightly more seamless intermodal payment, as several of us warned way back when NPT was first sketched out, riders on the transit side have actually lost functionality.

As clunky as tokens were, they had the benefits of being both fungible and small-d democratic. You could get their price benefit even if you were making a single round trip, they could be shared among multiple riders, anyone - commuter, irregular rider, or one-day visitor - could use them without hoop-jumping, and everyone had transfer privileges. Much of that flexibility's gone or less available if you're not a commuter.
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