• 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 JeffK
 
Warning: This page may contain severe cynicism. Reader discretion is advised.

MACTRAXX wrote: Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:16 pm There is mention about all the TVMs (fare kiosks) outside the farelines at the Center City stations to be in service. What about outlying stations - will there be any TVMs or TOM's (LIRR terminology for a Ticket Office Machine used by an Agent or Clerk to sell transportation fare media) that can handle the Key?
Based on possibly outdated information, my understanding is that there will be NO kiosks or other forms of TVMs at outlying stations. As usual, SEPTA is citing issues of maintenance and vandalism - problems clearly unique to SEPTA given unusual maintenance requirements and highly-clever vandals not faced by any other transit system. This will of course continue to force intermediate and occasional riders to pay the #$%! on-board surcharge. In addition, it's also my (again possibly outdated) understanding that on-board e-payments will eventually be allowed but contrary to earlier announcements these too will be subject to the surcharge.

The July 8 change to no longer accept $50 or $100 bills on board should have little effect
This is the only change I'm not suspicious about. Neither denomination seems to be commonly used in daily commerce, nor do the great majority of ATMs in this country dispense them. The only situation that comes readily to mind would be a foreign visitor who uses a currency exchange at the Airport; in my travels to both the EU and Down Under I've found that high-denomination bills circulate more widely so a visitor may unknowingly expect the same here. Regardless, it will be uh, "interesting" the first time someone does get on with only a picture of Ben or Grant.

In closing MAJOR changes to SEPTA RRD fares are coming...Will the SEPTA Key be fully ready for them? MACTRAXX
According to The Onion and Weekly World News, yes. Fully, completely, 100%. Put another way, is the Pope Buddhist?
  by ChesterValley
 
Does this mean Keycard's are being sold at stations or come October 1st are we looking at a DMV simulator?

Will SEPTA's Key page be able to handle the network load every month or will it crash every time?

Is SEPTA's Keycard network able to handle the network loads from morning and evening commuters? Will the tower's be able to handle the load from the Key units?

Will SEPTA just install key units on the trains (/sarcasm)?

Will SEPTA finally scrap the stupid transfer fee?

What's going to happen to ticket offices?

Find out all of these and more on the next month installment of SEPTA: the Key to Philadelphia
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone:

SEPTA has posted the Key conversion dates...
http://www.septa.org/key/updates/2019-w ... asses.html

This does now at least confirm the information on the poster that CV spotted...

SEPTA's goal for near-complete RRD conversion by the end of 2019 may be because it is also the end of the
2010s decade - thanks to the long delays over the course of years placing the Key into service.

Will this ambitious plan over less than four months (August thru November) be too much in this short time?

MACTRAXX
  by Patrick Boylan
 
I've been away a while. I'm sure many one of you want to know the results of my trouble getting the $4.95 key card registration fee. July 2 I got 2 emails within a minute of each other "Your Service Request ... has been submitted" and "Your Service Request ... has been reviewed and will processed (sic)".
When I log into the system the $4.95 is in my travel wallet. I got no explanation about why it took from May 23 when I registered the card till July 2, when I assume was the date they put the fee into my travel wallet.
  by JeffK
 
That’s good to hear! I guess even a Soviet-inspired bureaucracy can get off its duff occasionally ...?

Maybe it also means there’s hope I’ll get a replacement for my card that was accidentally broken by a gate agent back in June. They initially took my information, said "No problem!", then turned around a week later to insist I had to pay a replacement fee even though the damage wasn’t my fault. I’ve since kicked the problem upstairs with no satisfaction.

For the time being I’m using a strip of reinforced tape to hold the pieces together and am keeping the card in a holder. In any case I was a second-wave early adopter, so the kluge just has to last till its official replacement date comes up next winter.
  by MichaelBug
 
With the upcoming phaseout of paper "legacy" Weekly TrailPasses slated to begin in only a couple of weeks, has SEPTA made the Key cards available for sale at any outlying Regional Rail ticket offices?

I have mentioned to several fellow daily Lansdale-Doylestown Line riders, that the weekly August 12th Anywhere TrailPass would only be available on a Key card. None of them were aware of this move. I sense that there will be much confusion to come. SEPTA needs to do much more outreach on this, than just throwing up a few signs at the turnstiles.
  by ExCon90
 
They could at least mention it to the Inquirer and Daily News (and KYW?)--they'd do a story on it. That's what Public Affairs Departments are supposed to be for. Maybe that's in their plans.
  by MACTRAXX
 
MichaelBug wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:31 pm With the upcoming phaseout of paper "legacy" Weekly TrailPasses slated to begin in only a couple of weeks, has SEPTA made the Key cards available for sale at any outlying Regional Rail ticket offices?

I have mentioned to several fellow daily Lansdale-Doylestown Line riders, that the weekly August 12th Anywhere TrailPass would only be available on a Key card. None of them were aware of this move. I sense that there will be much confusion to come. SEPTA needs to do much more outreach on this, than just throwing up a few signs at the turnstiles.
MB (and Everyone):

1-ALL Legacy Monthly and Weekly Trailpasses have been manufactured with PLASTIC since the mid 1990s.
I am not singling you out for this identification error - even some of SEPTA's own information mentions
improperly that Legacy passes are "paper passes" even though they clearly are not...

2-Yes...SEPTA needs to further clarify the conversion to the Key beginning the week of August 12-18 for the
Anywhere and Zone 3 Weekly Trailpasses. The change over to the Key should have been spread out over a
four month period with zones converted in consecutive months for ALL RRD legacy pass types.

Zone 3 is by far the largest Regional Rail fare zone in terms of stations and ridership. More than half of RRD
riders purchase Zone 3 Monthly and Weekly Trailpasses. With the sheer size of Zone 3 this large conversion
should have been attempted by itself and not along with the Anywhere passes (Zones 4 and NJ) to make this
change easier. This may all turn out to be a classic case of doing "too much too soon" with this changeover...

MACTRAXX
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone: Here's a thought about the SEPTA Key that came to mind:

How about offering TWO variations of the SEPTA Key - one with and one without the debit card type that is being used.
The non-debit card Key would be a generic type that would be ONLY used for transit fares - like the early Charlie Card
that MBTA uses and other transit agencies have available (Freedom Card, Anyone?) that is for fare payment only?

The new type would likely be able to be used for a longer period compared to the expiration dating that debit or
credit card types use - this could be a new advantage for riders not having to worry about expiration dates as much...

Thoughts?...MACTRAXX
  by JeffK
 
I wonder if they shouldn't just eliminate the debit feature. The numbers I've seen indicate only a tiny fraction of Key holders actually use it for non-SEPTA purchases. Of course that could be somewhat skewed by SEPTA's impediments that make it the Key problematic for some lower-income riders who might otherwise benefit from its debit function.

I guess my question comes down to whether the Key (or any other fare card, for that matter) should serve multiple purposes, or even whether there's some other approach than having proprietary fare cards in the first place. E.g. in an alternate universe SEPTA would accept any electronic payment medium at Key rates, imposing its infernal surcharges only on fares paid in cash. People could use the media of their choice - debit, credit, app, etc. - without penalty for per-trip payments. The burden of keeping track of payments would fall on the media providers who already have robust, scalable networks*. The Key could be cut back to only serve options like weekly/monthly passes that are transit-specific.

Again, just ruminating about a scenario SEPTA would almost certainly reject out of hand...

* Strangely enough, that's no different from the way those media work outside of SEPTAland </snark>.
  by andrewjw
 
Seeing as Key is pretty much a carbon copy of Ventra, this note on the Ventra site is relevant:
Why do Ventra Cards have an expiration date?

All current silver Ventra Cards have two accounts – a transit account and an optional Money Network MasterCard Prepaid Debit Account. The prepaid debit account means the Ventra Card acts as a bank card. Per banking industry standard, expiration dates are used for fraud protection, and to anticipate when a card may be worn down and need replacing – allowing for uninterrupted use. The new replacement Ventra Cards will not feature the debit side, allowing for a much longer expiration date – up to 20 years!

https://www.ventrachicago.com/expires/
  by jamesinclair
 
Ventra dropped the debit feature because like the Key, the fees to use the debit portion were predatory and insulting.

Another thing SEPTA can and should do is immediately activate the feature to allow people to use Apple Pay / Samsung Pay / Contactless cards on the turnstiles, as they were designed.

That lets people ride without having to purchase or maintain a separate key card.
  by JeffK
 
jamesinclair wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 10:43 am Another thing SEPTA can and should do is immediately activate the feature to allow people to use Apple Pay / Samsung Pay / Contactless cards on the turnstiles, as they were designed.

That lets people ride without having to purchase or maintain a separate key card.
However, the latest I’ve heard is that if & when they do accept external payment media fares will be charged at the higher cash rate, leaving the Key as the only financially practical option for most riders.

That’s ridiculous on its surface, as the added cost of processing external transactions should be at most ~5%, far less than the 18-67% differentials between Key fares and cash. It’s just another example of the haggis* SEPTA has made of its "improved" fare system.

* to borrow a phrase from a Scottish acquaintance, rather than typing the word I really wanted to use ...
  by dcipjr
 
Another thing SEPTA can and should do is immediately activate the feature to allow people to use Apple Pay / Samsung Pay / Contactless cards on the turnstiles, as they were designed.
I would imagine this would be activated with the rollout of the travel wallet. The turnstiles display the logos of the credit card issuers onscreen, so it's already a bit confusing that major credit cards aren't accepted. Surely they wouldn't scrap this feature.

I heard at one point that if you registered an account on Key website and added your credit card, you'd get the discounted fare, but this may have been scrapped.
  by rcthompson04
 
dcipjr wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:28 pm
Another thing SEPTA can and should do is immediately activate the feature to allow people to use Apple Pay / Samsung Pay / Contactless cards on the turnstiles, as they were designed.
I would imagine this would be activated with the rollout of the travel wallet. The turnstiles display the logos of the credit card issuers onscreen, so it's already a bit confusing that major credit cards aren't accepted. Surely they wouldn't scrap this feature.

I heard at one point that if you registered an account on Key website and added your credit card, you'd get the discounted fare, but this may have been scrapped.
Wonder if SEPTA has a similar problem as the Port Authority in Pittsburgh:

https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh ... d=15099458
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