alewifebp wrote: ↑Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:53 pm ... the Key seems to be such an overly complicated system compared to easier to use systems in NJ and NY.When SEPTA was formed in the late 1960s and early 70s they inherited a patchwork of multi-option fare systems from their predecessor agencies. Over that half-century there's been tweaks to iron out some incompatibilities, but never any kind of systemwide review to come up with something truly unified and seamless, let alone equitable*.
Unfortunately that mindset carried over to the Key, which attempted to replicate wide swaths of the legacy system rather than starting with a clean slate. Several people in SEPTA's hierarchy have told me the driving reason is an almost palpable fear that any major change might disrupt existing revenue streams, making it difficult to track revenue sources and possibly reducing overall fare recovery. There's an equally-strong fear of fare leakage that's led to complex efforts to "seal" the collection process, variously criticized as "Get the last dime every single time" and other less-printable sayings.
The ultimate irony is that replicating some of the legacy revenue streams (e.g. transfers on the transit side and RRD zone charges) required a lot of extra design complexity while others like transit zone charges and RRD senior fares couldn't be reproduced at all, and the "last dime" campaign added extra costs and infrastructure in an effort to plug every conceivable fare leak. At this point it's too early to know if all of those gaps and patches have caused reduced revenue anyway. To put it the way the Scots might, the Key's turned out to be "a real haggis".
* Two examples: transfer charges that make a short trip cost more than a long one, and pass prices that can make it less expensive to pay individual transit fares than to buy a weekly card.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...