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 R3 Passenger » Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:12 am

JeffK wrote:
R3 Passenger wrote:From what I understand, one ride on the Trailpass can be used for RR, Bus, Trolley, Subway, NHSL. So, riding the El from 30th Street to 69th Street and transferring to the NHSL to Norristown effectively costs more (2 rides) than taking the Norristown line from 30th Street to Norristown.

I'm not 100% sure either, but I remember a similar point being made at one meeting and the response was that a connecting trip would be interpreted as a transfer rather than two separate boardings. The cost would still be a single base fare plus a $1 transfer charge rather than two base fares.

What's abundantly obscure is whether a multi-vehicle trip will count against the ride cap as a single ride, or as one ride per vehicle. If it's the latter I can see serious problems for some riders.

I was speaking about Trailpasses when I was speaking about rides and ride numbers. In terms of counting those rides, it is one ride per vehicle.

SEPTA Key FAQ wrote:Q: Will the TransPasses still be unlimited rides?

A: As defined in the Fare Tariff presented in public hearings and adopted in 2013, under the SEPTA Key program, all Weekly Passes (Trans and Trail) will have a 56 ride limit and Monthly Passes (Trans and Trail) will have a 240 ride limit. Transfers will be counted against this limit.

Q: What will happen if I exceed the ride limit while en route on the system?

A: If you exceed the weekly/monthly ride limit on your pass, you will need to add funds to the Travel Wallet to continue riding at a discounted rate or pay the fare in cash (non-discounted). The 56 rides offered on a Weekly Pass or the 240 rides offered on a Monthly Pass will allow most SEPTA customers to take the rides they need without exceeding the trip limit.

Further,
kiha40 wrote:
R3 Passenger wrote:What's abundantly obscure is whether a multi-vehicle trip will count against the ride cap as a single ride, or as one ride per vehicle. If it's the latter I can see serious problems for some riders.

I didn't say this.

kiha40 wrote:Wouldn't the Public Utility Commission have some regulatory authority over this?

Why would the Public Utility Commission have any say in this? SEPTA is not a utility; it is welfare.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby R36 Combine Coach » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:21 pm

JeffK wrote:
R3 Passenger wrote:From what I understand, one ride on the Trailpass can be used for RR, Bus, Trolley, Subway, NHSL. So, riding the El from 30th Street to 69th Street and transferring to the NHSL to Norristown effectively costs more (2 rides) than taking the Norristown line from 30th Street to Norristown.

I'm not 100% sure either, but I remember a similar point being made at one meeting and the response was that a connecting trip would be interpreted as a transfer rather than two separate boardings. The cost would still be a single base fare plus a $1 transfer charge rather than two base fares.

What's abundantly obscure is whether a multi-vehicle trip will count against the ride cap as a single ride, or as one ride per vehicle. If it's the latter I can see serious problems for some riders.

As long as SEPTA exists in its current form, they are going to do everything they can to nickel and dime their passengers.

Amen to that.

Again, we wouldn't be here today dealing with this had the FREEDOM Card was fully integrated, as in 2007, when it DRPA stated the FREEDOM would be SEPTA-compatible at a later date. If that happened, there would already be one regional fare system, much like Bay Area's Clipper. But more than eight years later after FREEDOM, NPT/Key has yet to take off when everything could (and should) have been integrated by now.

Unless some contractor or consultant was "on the take" for the NPT program ("honest graft"?) and that is a conspiracy why the systems have yet to be united.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby CComMack » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:12 pm

The grift comes from the FREEDOM Card side; it's a closed, proprietary system completely controlled by its vendor, Cubic. Want to use their system? Cubic is going to take its pound of flesh and then some. SEPTA did not (and does not) have the budget to go along with that kind of ongoing protection racket; they demanded an open system that they wouldn't be on the hook for to any single vendor once it was released. The problem then is that we've had to spend $150M and three extra years (beyond what was imagined in the project timetable) reinventing the wheel, but when it's done it will at least be a wheel that SEPTA owns. For once I can't blame them for it because they will recoup the difference in money (as opposed to paying the pizzo to Cubic) in short order. Time, of course, can never be recovered...
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby zebrasepta » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:48 pm

Has anyone tried the SEPTA Key thing yet?
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby MichaelBug » Tue Jun 21, 2016 7:36 am

I have a close friend who lives in Drexel Hill & frequently uses both the Media/Sharon Hill trolleys (Routes 101/102) & the MFL. He obtained a SEPTA Key this past week (loaded with a Weekly TransPass) & used it for extensive travel, system-wide. He used it on all transit modes (buses, city & suburban trolleys, MFL, BSL, trackless trolley) & reports that for the most part everything went smoothly. He reported only two minor issues with the SEPTA Key units on two Victory buses (one didn't work at all, the other took 2-3 minutes to power up after the driver started the bus at 69th St. after a layover). In both cases, the operators waved him on. He did report both issues to the SEPTA Key online feedback form.

However, during the weekend, my friend was very hesitant to use the Key onboard Regional Rail, as he did not think that it would be accepted as a fare by the RRD conductors without difficulty. The RRD conductors at present have NO WAY to verify if a Key is valid or not. Supposedly they are to be issued hand-held validators, but I haven't seen any so far in my travels on the Lansdale-Doylestown line.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby sammy2009 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:29 pm

I got the KEY Card when it rolled out. Every mode i've used it on (MFL/BSL, Trolley, Bus) it has worked fine all the way through. It lagged a few seconds on some vehicles. I did have a problem with reloading it. I tapped the validation thing , im not sure if i did not tap it enough that it did not read (I've heard a few others say this issue arose for them) , i had to buy a new card, and i tried to reload online and it FAILED.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby MichaelBug » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:45 pm

Sammy - did you register your Key Card online before you attempted to reload it online?

(My friend opted to use tokens this week, & not his Key, as he is not planning to ride enough times to make it worth the cost of another TransPass.)
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:47 pm

Everyone:

Specifically for those who are trying out the Key - Has anyone noticed exactly how rides are being counted with the "cap"?

Does every use count as one single ride or is it going to be a ride and a $1 transfer as an example counting as one?

As far as I am concerned there is no incentive to give up a true unlimited use pass for the Key with its limitations...

With Regional Rail not equipped in any way for the Key SEPTA will have to continue to sell the current pass types for RRD at least now indefinitely...

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

Postby R3 Passenger » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:27 pm

I agree, MACTRAXX. However, from what I understand, the "SEPTA Wallet" part of the Key, specifically the online tools and stored cash value, are not up and running yet.

In addition, the new restrooms for the fare areas at Market East have been completed. I have noticed in Section B over the past few days that wires were being worked on in the ceiling. It is only a matter of time before the fences and turnstiles are installed.

These nickel and dime tactics are starting to make the fare system feel as complex as filing a Federal Tax Return.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JeffK » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:20 pm

R3 Passenger wrote:These nickel and dime tactics are starting to make the fare system feel as complex as filing a Federal Tax Return.

A mantra from The Wisdom of 1234: "It is better to inconvenience a hundred passengers than it is to lose the highest possible fare from one."
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby ExCon90 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:08 pm

R3 Passenger wrote:These nickel and dime tactics are starting to make the fare system feel as complex as filing a Federal Tax Return.

More complex--you can hire someone to do tax-return work for you. You have to go through the fare procedures yourself, but with the reassurance that the continuing inconvenience to you is enabling SEPTA to pick up a few nickels and dimes now and again.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby sammy2009 » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:07 am

sammy2009 wrote:I got the KEY Card when it rolled out. Every mode i've used it on (MFL/BSL, Trolley, Bus) it has worked fine all the way through. It lagged a few seconds on some vehicles. I did have a problem with reloading it. I tapped the validation thing , im not sure if i did not tap it enough that it did not read (I've heard a few others say this issue arose for them) , i had to buy a new card, and i tried to reload online and it FAILED.



I'm so sorry for the late reply, but yes my card was registered. But the most recent card i got , i was able to reload it again. ;-)
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby rrbluesman » Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:33 pm

I like the SEPTA Key for the most part. I think it is the natural progression of the Transpass (from the days when I had a Monthly Transpass). However, I have already encountered the question of compatibility with the Railroad Division, a problem I do not understand. I e-mailed SEPTA about using the Key on the Railroad Division and received a circular answer of how it can be used on the Railroad on off hours and weekends and that SEPTA is "In the process of making the Key compatible with all Railroad Division trains." I don't understand this planning process.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby bikentransit » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:28 pm

Is "Key" even useful yet? It appears it only does the same thing that an old transpass does only with limited rides. For a daily commuter riding one round trip with 0 transfers, "KEY" is more expensive at $2.40 a ride compared to $1.80 a ride with tokens.

Furthermore, SEPTA has eliminated token accepting turnstiles at many El stations which force token using riders to wait in line for the blob in the booth to accept transfers or sell single rides, which is an inconvenience when you're trying to get to work.

Is there going to be a per-ride version of Key, and if so, why is it not on the market yet? Or did they not figure out how to do that yet after spending $200 million for this system?
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby sammy2009 » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:19 pm

"KEY" , Still in the testing phase...but will be rolled out slowly. I believe the token slot on the vending machines can be used as a single trip "In The Future". There will be a pay-per-ride version of KEY....KEY has sold pretty much all the 10k cards with in the first 16 days of release, people are transitioning at a pace that SEPTA is allowing currently from what is being seen and reported.

The Railroad Division is still being worked on, i think this part will be the most dramatic lol. Far as them setting them up and all the fare - zone reduction and all of that stuff.

But the "KEY" card will most likely have more features and will be deployed at a later date.
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