• 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 sammy2009
 
SEPTA better jump to it with the mobile and debit/credit payment feature....they always trying to "Recover the fare ratio that is LOST" , you would think they would have it up and running quickly since most people these days have smartphones with payment capabilities. I'm sure MTA NY will have that feature of their OMNY System deployed to all stations before SEPTA gets it right.
  by rdgrailfan
 
I rode into center city yesterday from Glenside. None of the TAP machines were working at the station.
On the train fare collection by the conductor was just show the card.....at Suburban Station all gates open?
Reverse trip was the same. SEPTA must be bleeding revenue
  by rcthompson04
 
rdgrailfan wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:16 am I rode into center city yesterday from Glenside. None of the TAP machines were working at the station.
On the train fare collection by the conductor was just show the card.....at Suburban Station all gates open?
Reverse trip was the same. SEPTA must be bleeding revenue
I am skeptical they are losing revenue overall because the fare validation occurring at the gates during PM peak trains is an improvement. Tickets are often not collected on some of the busier PM rush trains on the Paoli Thorndale line for example.

One area they might be losing revenue out in Zone 4 might be from a few of us who realized Independence Passes are cheaper and better than 2 one way round trip tickets. In the months I don’t use a monthly pass due to having less than 14 trips (like July), I am saving 50 cents a day by using the Key with an Independence Pass.

I have been using for a year now since it was rolled out in Zone 4 and I have seen maybe 2 times where the terminals weren’t working at Malvern, Exton or Paoli.
  by MACTRAXX
 
Everyone:

With the Legacy Pass "perks" possibly ending along with the implementation of the Key on Regional Rail
there are other commuter rail systems that are adopting new fare policies such as these:

On Chicago's METRA all monthly pass riders now can travel anyplace on weekends (began June 1, 2019).
https://www.metrarail.com/about-metra/n ... end-travel
(Press release - May 22, 2019) This new option is offered along with the two day $10 Weekend Pass.

The Long Island Rail Road has a "Summer Saturdays" promotion that allows Monthly Ticket holders to
travel to any destination on the LIRR regardless of fare zones on Saturdays only between Memorial
and Labor Days. This is the second Summer season for this option which began in 2018.

A RRD employee mentioned something to me concerning on-board fare collection with the coming Key
conversion is that instead of visually observing Legacy passes as is normal now the scanner will have to
be used to check ALL Key cards slowing the process down considerably. This does not even take into any
consideration for any possible Key or scan problems - and to collect any cash on board traditional fare
reciepts will have to be punched and issued along with collecting any one way tickets. On board fare
collections instead of being simplified will become even more complicated for Train Crew nembers...

MACTRAXX
  by dcipjr
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:19 am A RRD employee mentioned something to me concerning on-board fare collection with the coming Key
conversion is that instead of visually observing Legacy passes as is normal now the scanner will have to
be used to check ALL Key cards slowing the process down considerably. This does not even take into any
consideration for any possible Key or scan problems - and to collect any cash on board traditional fare
reciepts will have to be punched and issued along with collecting any one way tickets. On board fare
collections instead of being simplified will become even more complicated for Train Crew nembers...
No way they'd be able to check all the Key cards if that's what everyone is using.

I've heard from conductors that it will be on the honor system.

For years, all this FUD coming out of SEPTA about using POP, and in the end, that's what they've come up with—a really-expensive, years-behind-schedule, full-of holes-POP system.
  by JeffK
 
dcipjr wrote: Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:28 pm 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.
That's my understanding as well. I imagine that between faulty scanners and lost revenue streams (e.g. transit zones and RRD senior fares), they're going to be trying every possible "gotcha" to recover as much as they can.

On two other fronts:

- The issue of senior card limitations remains absolutely silent. With the state rolling out new non-magnetic driver's licenses, it looks like the only way for seniors to get free/reduced fares will be to have a personalized Key. That's gonna be a huge mess for anyone outside of the region who'll be forced to pay the full whack even though they qualify for special fares. To this non-lawyer it seems like a legally dubious policy because the state pays for those fares rather than the region or SEPTA itself. Guess it's time to start hounding my local politicians again...

- I've so far had less success at getting my defective Key card replaced than Patrick had with his purchase fee refund. I've been to 1234 twice and spent half an hour on the phone with people who are programmed with infinite "NO" loops. They deny any responsibility and will only issue a replacement if I pay a penalty, variously quoted at either $5 or $25, and wait 4-6 weeks to be mailed (!) a new one. So far drivers and cashiers have been understanding because apparently it's not an isolated problem. By contrast, my daughter who lives in DC had a Metro SmartCard that lost its "memory"; they replaced it at a Customer Center both on the spot and without cost.
  by ChesterValley
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:19 am
...

A RRD employee mentioned something to me concerning on-board fare collection with the coming Key
conversion is that instead of visually observing Legacy passes as is normal now the scanner will have to
be used to check ALL Key cards slowing the process down considerably. This does not even take into any
consideration for any possible Key or scan problems - and to collect any cash on board traditional fare
reciepts will have to be punched and issued along with collecting any one way tickets. On board fare
collections instead of being simplified will become even more complicated for Train Crew nembers...

MACTRAXX
I've sat on the R5 and got bored of staring at my phone, I timed the conductors between stations. Between Bryn Mawr and Overbook stations, it is roughly 2 minutes between the conductor getting out to get out to the car and take a fare then get back to the door. If more than 4 people needed a cash fare which averaged 30 seconds per fare, the rest of the car rode free. This happened frequently on Friday's at about 4-6 when many people came onboard using the cash fare. Those key units take about 8-10 seconds per scan, although I would need to go and get out my watch again. That doesn't include the inevitable arguments with the conductors about how I paid and that's wrong, or I tapped in, or whatever.

I was surprised when SEPTA decided to implement the key, the legacy fare system in place seemed to get the job done if they simply just used TVM's. Tickets were a simple punch, and as MACTRAXX mentioned a simple visual check. Hell, I've only ever seen a SEPTA Pass counterfeited once the entire time I've been on the rails. TVM's could take cash and credit and we wouldn't be in this much of a problem. Of course I'm not the bone head looking at the numbers at 1234 Market.
  by JeffK
 
SEPTA has been opposed to TVMs since at least the days of the B.O.B. (Big Orange Boxj debacle. They’ve always claimed that maintenance is too expensive, the machines are subject to vandalism*, etc. Of course there’s also the nagging suspicion that a lack of TVMs brings in more $$$ from riders who are forced to pay the on-board surcharge ...

It would be VERY interesting if someone could estimate the costs of operating TVMs versus fares lost by the Key's clunky implementation.

* even though other systems appear to have managed the problem adequately (the "we have special vandals" excuse)
  by MACTRAXX
 
MACTRAXX wrote: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:16 pm
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
MB and Everyone:

With the first conversion of Anywhere and Zone 3 Weekly Trailpasses scheduled for the week of August 12-18
SEPTA is issuing bookmark-sized yellow flyers with this text:

"Sales ending for Zone 3&4 PAPER Trailpasses; Beginning August 12-18 Weekly Passes only available on a SEPTA
Key Card. Join the future of fare collection - Get a Key card & learn more at www.septa.org/key

Using the term "Paper Trailpasses" instead of "Legacy" is not only incorrect it may actually confuse riders in this
manner: "My pass is plastic and not paper - this change probably does not affect me." Describing the item correctly to
me is just plain common sense - it again surprises me that some SEPTA staffers do not know what their own passes are
manufactured of especially since it has been the same for around 25 years...

The August 5-11 Weekly Trailpasses for Anywhere and Zone 3 will be the last available Legacy weekly pass for
these two zones...They may be interesting collectables knowing what they are...MACTRAXX
  by MichaelBug
 
SEPTA is still mum as to whether new Key Cards will be available at staffed outlying Regional Rail ticket offices or not. If they are not, there will be quite a few irate riders on Monday, August 12th if they are not able to buy their weekly passes at their home stations.

SEPTA's Key buy/load locator shows NO places to buy/load a Key card within 4 miles of Lansdale, North Wales, or Ambler. The nearest locations to Lansdale are a small bodega in Souderton, a check cashing agency in Telford, & several convenience stores in Norristown.
  by JeffK
 
MichaelBug wrote: Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:06 pm SEPTA's Key buy/load locator shows NO places to buy/load a Key card within 4 miles of Lansdale, North Wales, or Ambler. The nearest locations to Lansdale are a small bodega in Souderton, a check cashing agency in Telford, & several convenience stores in Norristown.
That agrees with what I've found. Next week should be, uh, "interesting". In fact, the Inquirer reported that there are only about a third as many sales outlets as SEPTA originally promised. Of course the promise of TVMs at outlying stations is null and void as well.

Back when the Key was still "NPT" several of us expressed concern that it would end up being at least as inconvenient as legacy passes and tokens, not to mention more expensive for occasional riders. Sadly that and more has come true.
  by MichaelBug
 
And the locations of some of those external Key sales outlets are utterly baffling. There are over 10 outlets in Mercer County, NJ (none of them the Trenton train station), over 20 outlets in New Castle County, DE (none of them at any train station), & even one in Newark, NEW JERSEY! But not a single location anywhere along the Paoil-Thorndale line (unless you count the bus loop at 63rd & Malvern, somewhat near Overbrook Station).
  by rcthompson04
 
I have been telling most of my coworkers who take Regional Rail regarding the changes. Most have no clue, but they order their passes through the corporate program. Most are monthly every month anyway.
  by alewifebp
 
Meanwhile, in NJT land, they just announced that over 55% of ticket revenue was processed via the MyTix app. On top of the many years that NJT has had TVMs in operation at nearly all rail stations. After using SEPTA over the weekend, the Key seems to be such an overly complicated system compared to easier to use systems in NJ and NY.
  by JeffersonLeeEng
 
Maybe they should bring back the mobile kiosks...ha!
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