• Seat checks - how do they work?

  • Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.
Discussion related to New Jersey Transit rail and light rail operations.

Moderators: Tadman, nick11a, Kaback9, ACeInTheHole

  by Grump
 
gardendance wrote: Of course the other wrinkle is the lucky recipient of the free seat check would also have to know what the day's punching or marking style was. Are conductor's punches distinctive? When I was a kid I heard tales that they were as unique as snowflakes, which I found hard to believe even then. Do all crew members usually know what shape punch the rest of the crew has?
Yes punches are all unique, I'm sure there may be two of the same on the system....
Working a regular job, I know what my regular crew members punches are. If I'm unsure of another crewmans punch if I have a potentially beat with his own seatcheck, I'll check with the crew member to see their shape. I've even seen farebeats try to punch a seatcheck with a pen or a knife.
And I always punch E or W on mine so they can't be used later on another crews train and to ensure that they're "mine"...
  by Jtgshu
 
sometimes you would change things up a bit just to throw the beats off - if every day you punched W/E and all the other holes, maybe one day the whole crew woudln't do that, and only punch the number. So that way, if a person had a seatcheck with everything punched, they would stick out like a red flag.

There are lots of various tricks, and its not as easy to steal a ride with a found seatcheck as one might think...
  by E-44
 
The latest thing I've seen - more than a few times - is on weekends where beaters will walk rapidly through the coach and deftly swipe seat checks off the aisle seats while the unwary rider is looking the other way or on a cell phone or otherwise distracted. I grabbed one guy and held him for the TC once (but then wasted an hour with NJTPD as he filled out his report on the platform). Now I just tell the poor sucker what happened and wait for one of the crew to come by so I can identify the culprit.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
philipmartin wrote:Transit used to advise people to leave their monthly passes in view, in front of them. I can't find it in the timetable now. But selling tickets, I had enough people come up to me, saying they'd left their monthlies on the train, that I always tell people not to do that.
Between the possibility someone else might lift their monthly pass, as E-44 mentions happens with seat checks, and as philipmartin mentions people might leave their montlies behind, I've long wondered why anyone would want to leave their monthly in the ticket holder on the seat in front of them.
  by TREnecNYP
 
gardendance wrote:Between the possibility someone else might lift their monthly pass, as E-44 mentions happens with seat checks, and as philipmartin mentions people might leave their montlies behind, I've long wondered why anyone would want to leave their monthly in the ticket holder on the seat in front of them.
I've actually seen that. I was somewhat confused as if to the guy was a new rider, new to monthly passes, drunk/high or had no concept of paying for something then having someone steal it. He wasn't even looking in its direction!!!! Plus, um, if you have an EWR pass, you gotta keep it un-damaged so the faregate machines can read it. Was a trenton-nyp pass too that he had!! I was gonna tell him to put it away till they came by to check it en route, but there were people behind me in the aisle and i was too far down after processing what it was that he had in the ticket holder to say it quietly.

- A
  by Jtgshu
 
TREnecNYP wrote:
gardendance wrote:Between the possibility someone else might lift their monthly pass, as E-44 mentions happens with seat checks, and as philipmartin mentions people might leave their montlies behind, I've long wondered why anyone would want to leave their monthly in the ticket holder on the seat in front of them.
I've actually seen that. I was somewhat confused as if to the guy was a new rider, new to monthly passes, drunk/high or had no concept of paying for something then having someone steal it. He wasn't even looking in its direction!!!! Plus, um, if you have an EWR pass, you gotta keep it un-damaged so the faregate machines can read it. Was a trenton-nyp pass too that he had!! I was gonna tell him to put it away till they came by to check it en route, but there were people behind me in the aisle and i was too far down after processing what it was that he had in the ticket holder to say it quietly.

- A
There's an old saying "mind your beeswax" - and thats good advice

A lot of people put their monthlies (usually in their holder) up on the top of the seat for a few reasons, mostly so they don't hve to sit there and hold it out. Some people put it up there so they can take a nap and not be woken up to show their ticket, other people do it so they can read the paper, etc.

Anyway, they are all adults. Its not a smart idea, but if someone who pays probably well over 300 dollars wants to put it up there on their seat and leave it like a simple piece of paper, so be it. Most folks are pretty smart people, and they know the risks. If they want to do that and risk loosing/forgetting or have their monthly stolen....oh well
  by MelroseMatt
 
cruiser939 wrote:
MelroseMatt wrote:
Steve F45 wrote:everytime i've taken a train on the PVL or BCL, they've used the hole puncher. I've never understood the system, it always seemed like they would just go nuts with the number of holes in the ticket.
NJT Tickets and seat checks are too easy.

Here's a pic of a SEPTA train ticket.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/srhbth/436567705/

My round trips to the airport via center city result in no less than 9 precise punches, and they usually pull out a pen and circle the "2C 3C" boxes, then three more conductors will inspect the ticket before its used up. I love helping the conductors. "Oh yea, clip 'final cancel' now."


On the other hand, when I took SEPTA and NJT from Philly to NY Penn, I bought tickets in Suburban Station Philadelphia, and was surprised when she handed me two NJT Tickets, one that said "Philadelphia to Trenton" The Septa conductor just punched it, and put it back in my seat like he would with any other single ride SEPTA ticket. Why doesn't NJT do this, instead of worrying about seat checks?
The picture that you linked is the equivalent of a NJT CFR (cash fare receipt) which is cut on board the trains when fares are purchased.
Yes, it is a ticket purchased on the train. Off peak, easily half the riders are using them, since it's only $1 more, and SEPTA has no ticket machines whatsoever. Stations that are staffed, are typically only for the mornings, mon-fri.

The M.O. on septa for monthly passes, is the holder worn around the neck, leaving the pass visible in front of the rider. Nobody does this on NJT?

Also - for a single ride ticket, why do they bother giving me a seat check instead of just punching the ticket and putting it in the clip on the seat?
  by TREnecNYP
 
MelroseMatt wrote:The M.O. on septa for monthly passes, is the holder worn around the neck, leaving the pass visible in front of the rider. Nobody does this on NJT?

Also - for a single ride ticket, why do they bother giving me a seat check instead of just punching the ticket and putting it in the clip on the seat?
My friend went to temple from yardley for 2 years via the train, he never wore it in a holder, always in a secure pocket till they ask for it. As for seat check vs punched ticket, i've experienced both on NJT and SEPTA. A few times on NJT i'll get my ticket punched and left ripped down the center lengthwise for newark, 99.9% of the time i've gotten a seat check, or nothing at all, especially if its crowded. Now SEPTA on the other hand, i regularly get ticket punched and left in the holder on the seat, however a few times they just collect it and move on as i'm the 1st stop after leaving trenton.

And JT as far as minding my beeswax, i know when to keep quiet... However i'm usually the first/only one to say something if it's not kosher, like the other day lady had a coffee cup leaking all over the floor, she had no idea and she was able to move a newspaper over it to soak most of it up so people didnt slip. I can end up striking up good conversations with people, especially crew and amtrak folks who hop on for a lift, but like i said i'm usually able to tell if the person will respond positively or not. Most folks do but i'm usually more interested in looking out the window. :-)

- A
  by metrony
 
Roadgeek Adam wrote:
mrsam wrote:
Port Jervis wrote:On the PVL, westbound, seat checks are issued at Hoboken, and after Secaucus are all removed. They must get VERY few intra-zone riders north on that line.
The same should be true for Main and Bergen trains. Before Secaucus, when I commuted on the Port Jervis line, no seat checks where ever used on PM rush hour expresses. Virtually nobody got on after Hoboken, even onto the trains that stopped in Hohokus or Mahwah.
On my last PJL train use (March 18), the conductor took mine somewhere around Harriman and I never saw the conductor again until getting off at Campbell Hall, of which I was the only one to do so. By that point, most of the train was empty
Some conductors do the same thing on the Hudson Line. One time after Croton-Harmon (!) all the seat checks were removed other times it's after Peekskill and sometimes it's never removed when I get off in Beacon.

During the peak times usually after Peekskill or Garrison a lot of commuters who get off at Beacon start to walk to the back of the end and stand so they can be one of the first ones off and make a mad dash to their cars to beat the traffic. lol. Similar thing happens after Croton-Harmon for Cortlandt.
  by Steamboat Willie
 
The punch line about seat checks is people develop their own style when they work the trains. There is no wrong or right way of doing it, although the company will beg to differ. One thing never to get into the habit of doing is using the same color everyday on a regular job. The riding public are savvy. One person mentioned why no one punches in the seat check instead just tear. Well, this is probably a person who is trying to reduce their chances of having carpel tunnel when they retire, or are suffering from wrist pain already. Some guys do what is called "zone" seat checking or advance seat checking. For example, on MNRR Cold Spring is in zone 7 on the Hudson Division. There are 2 ways you could do this. You could simply punch it once for zone seat checking or punch it twice for advance seat checking, since it is the second stop in zone 7. If you have two people going to Cold Spring, sometimes people punch twice in the 7 for 2 people or they will punch it twice to signify two people in the upper half of the seat check and punch it once in the 7.

Sometimes on very busy trains the crew will seat check heads or empties, meaning they will either seat check 2 people who are in a 3 seater, or put down a full seat check for the empty seat in the 3 seater. So when they pass through again and there are 3 people seated, they know someone hasn't shown their ticket.

There will always be people who get over the system and will go hundreds of rides until their act is caught. Most of the time they do get jammed up down the line. Most people in train service will vouch that they have their own system they use what works for them. Seat checking although is nowhere near rocket science is not meant to be easily understood by the riding public.
  by ryanov
 
mrsam wrote:
Port Jervis wrote:On the PVL, westbound, seat checks are issued at Hoboken, and after Secaucus are all removed. They must get VERY few intra-zone riders north on that line.
The same should be true for Main and Bergen trains. Before Secaucus, when I commuted on the Port Jervis line, no seat checks where ever used on PM rush hour expresses. Virtually nobody got on after Hoboken, even onto the trains that stopped in Hohokus or Mahwah.
I've had my ticket taken at the door on some of those trains (riding, say, Lyndhurst to Ramsey), so that may be part of the solution... though that doesn't give him a way to tell (other than memory) where I was getting off.
  by Amtrak207
 
Reviving an old thread!

Let's go back to the mid 80's to I believe mid to late 1990's.... with the older NJ Transit seat checks. As a kid I used to collect them. Does anyone remember all the colors? I know they had:

Brown
Orange
Blue (dark blue I believe)
Maroon

Wasn't there purple, green? Light blue? Any other colors??
https://i.postimg.cc/rmKktndH/NJT-Seat-Checks-2.jpg

Does anyone have a stash of colors besides Orange, Brown and Maroon?