mbm537 wrote:I'm shocked though not surprised that SEPTA has created an overly complicated, Rube Goldberg-ian fare collection system that is not an improvement and solves none of the inherent problems in the current system.
Aside from general failures in their development process, there apparently was never a nanogram of intention to make the Key simpler. The planners I spoke with told me there was an obsession inside 1234 with reproducing nearly every aspect of the prior crazy-quilt fare system; they were terrified that a more streamlined system would bring in less revenue. Of course the development process ended up wasting even more money, plus they built in ongoing costs of enforcement that were never an issue before (e.g. turnstiles on the RRD). Compounding that, oversights in the design did
end up losing revenue streams: as I understand it, transit zones and the $1 senior charge had to be dropped because Key couldn't handle those special-case fares.
I wouldn't be surprised if it makes it worse.
It already has, especially for lower-income riders who can't easily deal with the Key's heavy reliance on internet/e-banking access and a very limited number of alternative kiosks.
Re Senior Keys: The whole photo-ID thing is yet another symptom of their over-obsession with fare evasion. My wife and I were early adopters in the second-step rollout, and in ~3 years we've never once been asked to present our mug shots for comparison.
The demand for a photo ID endlessly complicates obtaining the cards - go to a special SEPTA location or a state rep's office, getcher pic took, then wait ... and wait ... for it to arrive by snail-mail up to 6 weeks later. Contrast that with DC: I also carry a DC Metro Senior SmarTrip card for use when visiting family. Admittedly their sales locations are somewhat limited as well, but in spite of that all I had to do was present my PA driver's license, pay a small processing fee, and in TEN MINUTES had a functional card.
As I noted in earlier posts SEPTA's fixation with an ID-based card seems to run afoul of equal-access principles. PA issues its own senior transit ID cards and pays for reduced fares statewide, so how can SEPTA justify imposing much more draconian limits that effectively exclude non-locals, especially those seniors who may no longer drive? I've raised this question to both my local officials and a couple of high-profile transit people but have never gotten an answer.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...