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/.

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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Head-end View » Mon Nov 05, 2018 10:12 pm

I like the old fashioned slot boxes. They are a simple, effective method. Not dependent on computers or the internet or electronics.
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Regional Rail Early Adopters Update (Nov. 1st)

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Tue Nov 06, 2018 9:09 am

http://www.septa.org/key/updates/early- ... dpate.html

"[W]e are temporarily capping the number of new Key Cards available for Regional Rail at 2000."

[...]

As with Transit, we will take a few months to evaluate how SEPTA Key is working on Regional Rail to determine if there are adjustments that need to be made for our customers and train crews before we resume the sale of new Key Cards for TrailPass purchases.

While no new Key Cards are available for sale at the Center City Regional Rail Stations we want to encourage our Early Adopter customers to continue to reload their Weekly and Monthly Zone 3 or 4 TrailPasses online at septakey.org or at one of the Center City Regional Rail Sales Offices. Early Adopters with valid Zone 3 & 4 TrailPasses loaded on a Key Card will continue to present their Card to the Conductor for validation, upon request.

Legacy TrailPasses for all Zones will continue to be sold at outlying Ticket Offices and at the Temple, Jefferson, Suburban, 30th St., and University City Regional Rail Station Ticket Office.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby ChrisinAbington » Tue Nov 06, 2018 12:10 pm

Head-end View wrote:I like the old fashioned slot boxes. They are a simple, effective method. Not dependent on computers or the internet or electronics.

I despise those slot boxes. The only positive thing I can say about them is they would work in case of a blackout.
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Reloading TrailPasses on Key Cards

Postby MichaelBug » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:27 pm

Apparently, if you have a Zone 3 or Anywhere TrailPass loaded on a Key Card, it can be now be reloaded at ANY Key fare kiosk (although SEPTA has not announced that fact publicly). I have successfully reloaded my AnyWhere TrailPass at the fare kiosk at the Drexel Hill Junction stop (Media/Sharon Hill trolley lines).
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Literalman » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:12 pm

I got my senior Key card on Nov. 5 while passing through Philly (I live in Virginia but usually am in Philly half a dozen times a year and always use Septa, and I turned 65 in August). From what I've read in this forum, not to mention on the Septa website, I wasn't sure what to expect. The Septa website said same-day service was available at 1234 Market St. on weekdays to obtain a senior Key card. I didn't have all day, but it took only about 15 minutes, I think. It went smoothly, and I was pleased to learn that to ride regional rail I just show the card to the conductor and ride free pay $1 extra if riding out of state. I gathered from this forum that the reason regional rail is free and not half price for seniors might be due to problems with the fare system.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby fcqjx » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:51 am

Literalman wrote:I got my senior Key card on Nov. 5 while passing through Philly (I live in Virginia but usually am in Philly half a dozen times a year and always use Septa, and I turned 65 in August). From what I've read in this forum, not to mention on the Septa website, I wasn't sure what to expect. The Septa website said same-day service was available at 1234 Market St. on weekdays to obtain a senior Key card. I didn't have all day, but it took only about 15 minutes, I think. It went smoothly, and I was pleased to learn that to ride regional rail I just show the card to the conductor and ride free pay $1 extra if riding out of state. I gathered from this forum that the reason regional rail is free and not half price for seniors might be due to problems with the fare system.


Hi Literalman I live just outside of Philly and decided to get a Senior Key Card in conjunction with the free intra-PA rides on Regional rail that went into effect on September 1st. It';s the first time I've traveled on SEPTA since moving here 18 years ago.As a clarification the $1.00 charge was in effect for senior travel on intra-PA travel prior to September 1st; Trips to/from DE and NJ were and remain half fare. All transit (Bus, trolley, Subway, Norristown High Speed Line) are free.

I am curious what kind of ID you used to get your Senior Key card at 1234, I have a friend who also lives in VA who might be interested in getting a card.

-Matt
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby chuchubob » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:19 am

fcqjx wrote:[quote="Literalman"...
I am curious what kind of ID you used to get your Senior Key card at 1234, I have a friend who also lives in VA who might be interested in getting a card.
-Matt

I used my NJ drivers license to get my senior Key Card.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Literalman » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:22 pm

I used my Virginia driver's license. I didn't check ahead of time (I should have), but it has my birth date on it.

Years ago I was eating at Friendly's with some other guys on a railfan outing in Pa. I didn't know most of them, so I didn't mention that it was my birthday. I asked for the free sundae and showed my NJ driver's license, and it didn't have my birth date on it, only the year and month I was born, I think, and most of the guys I was with could not vouch that it was my birthday. Friendly's gave me the free ice cream, but I think they were suspicious. :-)
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JeffK » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:11 pm

Literalman wrote:I gathered from this forum that the reason regional rail is free and not half price for seniors might be due to problems with the fare system.

My understanding from a couple of different sources is that senior travel is free because SEPTA either decided against - or quite possibly overlooked - equipping senior Keys with a stored-value option. However that doesn't take into account how half-fares for out of state trips will be collected and recorded. I've only used my card w/in PA so I can't say how those fares are collected, but I'd guess it's still being done the old-fashioned way. By comparison, I also have a DC Metro Senior SmarTrip card that carries a stored value just like standard SmarTrips and half-fares are collected just like standard fares *.

Senior Keys have another looming limitation: SEPTA decided that stopping fare leakage takes precedence over rider convenience and no longer accepts Medicare cards or state-issued senior ID cards as proof of age. Fareboxes only accept either Senior Keys or mag-stripe PA drivers' licenses, so if you're from out of the area and can't get a card at 1234 you're stuck paying the on-board cash fare - which also includes a surcharge penalty. Beyond that, PA will be phasing out its mag-stripe licenses so by ~2020 anyone without a Senior Key will be out of luck. That could have legal implications because senior rides are funded at the state level; restricting fares to local residents or those able to get to 1234 during business hours might be seen as unequal access.


* All things considered I'm more than happy to benefit from SEPTA's fumbles. My understanding is that another "OOOOPS!" is behind the elimination of zone fares and surcharges on suburban transit vehicles; collecting nonstandard fares would require riders to validate their cards on exiting as well as boarding and SEPTA didn't have a practical way to add exit validation to buses, subways, etc.
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Suburban Station Weekend Fare Inspection Starts on Nov 17th

Postby JeffersonLeeEng » Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:01 am

http://www.septa.org/key/updates/fare-inspection.html

A pilot program to expand the SEPTA Key fare inspection process to Weekends, at Center City Regional Rail Stations, will begin at Suburban Station on Saturday, November 17.


Fare Collection Ambassadors will be around during the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

I will be ever so glad when Key on the regional rail side is fully implemented, because I feel like the Ambassadors look more like dead weight around these turnstiles.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby dcipjr » Thu Nov 15, 2018 11:07 am

I will be ever so glad when Key on the regional rail side is fully implemented, because I feel like the Ambassadors look more like dead weight around these turnstiles.

Half the time they're blocking one or more of the turnstiles. It's not really their fault -- where else are they supposed to stand? -- but I feel like riders (including me) see their presence as a tremendous waste of money.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JeffK » Thu Nov 15, 2018 12:31 pm

dcipjr wrote:I feel like riders (including me) see their presence as a tremendous waste of money.

It would be VERY interesting to know how much it's costing SEPTA's to satisfy its G.E.L.D.* fixation, versus the amount of leakage it's actually preventing.

* "Get Every Last Dime" ... which you German-speakers know is the word for "money" :)
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Head-end View » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:37 pm

On a recent trip to Phila. I also noticed a lot of uniformed employees standing around the new turnstiles. On one hand I was glad to see them there to assist confused passengers with Q & A. But I also wondered how many were hired just for this purpose and how much they're being paid. LOL If SEPTA would have implemented a better thought out system, maybe there wouldn't be so many confused passengers and so many employees wouldn't be needed.

SEPTA's right to try to implement a system that will insure the highest percentage of fare collection possible. After all they need all the money they can get to maintain operations. But it looks like in their desperation to do this, they may be shooting themselves in the foot so to speak.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JeffK » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:01 pm

Head-end View wrote:If SEPTA would have implemented a better thought out system, maybe there wouldn't be so many confused passengers and so many employees wouldn't be needed.

The Key is also costing them money through things like elimination of transit zone fares and RRD senior fares, both apparently forced by major design gaffes.

SEPTA's right to try to implement a system that will insure the highest percentage of fare collection possible. After all they need all the money they can get to maintain operations. But it looks like in their desperation to do this, they may be shooting themselves in the foot so to speak.

Agreed. I spoke (off the record, of course) with a couple of planners from 1234 who told me there was an almost palpable concern with capturing every possible fare that's blinding them to the costs of making the system 99.99% leakproof. It reminds me of a relative who would drive 15 or 20 miles to a particular food market "because they had better prices", ignoring that their big car slurped nearly 2 gallons of gas.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Literalman » Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:12 pm

Fare ambassadors: when I was at 30th St. Station going upstairs to catch a train to Trenton, I noticed the ambassadors and the turnstiles at some stairways. "What's up with the turnstiles?" I asked, as this was my first encounter with them. The ones at the top of the stairs weren't locked, an ambassador answered me. That was a rather incomplete answer! Yes, there were turnstiles at the top of that stairway, and I just pushed through them. But if they had been locked, would the NJ Transit ticket I'd just bought open them? (I got a through ticket to Princeton Jct., and this was before I got my senior Key card.) I sure would have liked some more details, such as what to do if the turnstiles were locked when I got back from NJ a few days later. On my return I got off at Market East (Jefferson) and there were ambassadors at the turnstiles, but I don't remember whether I used the ticket I'd bought from the NJ Transit counter in Trenton to open the turnstile. As the Bee Gees sang, "I'm just a man in the middle of a complicated plan, with no one to show me the signs." I've been riding Septa since about 1971 and never was confused before.
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