Are they kidding me with the proposed fare hikes?

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: Are they kidding me with the proposed fare hikes?

Postby NorthPennLimited » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:45 pm

One of SEPTA's biggest problems is the board of directors are all political appointees. None of them are qualified to run a major transportation agency. And from my observations over the years, SEPTA's management structure is run from the top down like the army with little to no requests for feedback, ideas, or criticism from the hourly employees or front-line managers every time SEPTA's leadership wants to reinvent the wheel.

So when you run a major organization with top-down management, and unqualified people are at the top of the food chain, you have epic failures from time-to-time when undertaking major projects. On the railroad side, it's visible from the belly-flop execution of:
- Silverliner 5 procurement project
- SEPTA Key
- The regional rail staffing shortages / dispatcher replacements of the last 5 years
- Signal modernization / PTC installation. Two pieces of infrastructure that has INCREASED trip times over the last decade
- The ticket vending machines (TVM)
- evening fare collections in center city
- the entire SEPTA non-revenue diesel locomotive fleet
- the catenary design, material procurement, and replacement of the last decade. How did the Reading & PRR install brand new catenary systems in under 2 years?


I'm sure I'm missing a few more examples, but you catch my drift. And for each new major change on the railroad, how many times did you hear a crew mamber or SEPTA employee say "this will never work because........but they are going to do it anyway" or "this........isn't working, but they are going to exert every effort to prove it CAN work".

If you don't include the employees and managers who will use new technologies and methodologies when you are in early planning stages and seek their insight, concerns, and ideas, you are doomed to fail as a team; because most employees eventually become frustrated and disgruntled at the organization's lack of inclusion in the leadership decision making strategies. Over time, their resentfulness builds and they become a paid spectator of the company circus.

I have a feeling the same will hold true someday with the new multi-level coaches that were awarded to the Chinese firm that never built commuter rail rolling stock to FRA specifications.
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Re: Are they kidding me with the proposed fare hikes?

Postby JeffK » Tue Jun 27, 2017 11:58 am

Franklin Gowen wrote:SEPTA is much too willing to furnish excuses and turn away parties bearing dollars while it obsesses to the exclusion of all else, Captain Ahab-like, about pursuing nickels that it believes itself entitled to. ... So, what can be done, realistically, to turn the SEPTA Key around? Anything? Nothing?

At this point it's probably 99.99% impossible to fix the haggis that's been made of the Key. The project was flawed from the get-go, and people including DVARP have been pointing out problems for years to no avail. As a veteran of 30+ years in large-scale IT project work, it looks to me as if a number of major systems-design principles were violated or simply swept under the rug, including:

- Failure to adopt best practices and avoid of worst practices as seen among peer agencies.
- Failure to get past the "rebuild in kind" mentality that's hobbled SEPTA's projects since the 1980s (can anyone say "Railworks"?)
- Ditto for the (in)famous "Not Invented Here" and "We're Different" syndromes.
- Taking away core functionality rather than enhancing it, while spending time and money to add low-return noncore functions.
- Poor or non-existent user involvement in the customer-facing parts of the design
- Rolling out features piecewise as they were completed rather than in a coordinated fashion.

FWIW, I spent a couple of hours on the phone with the Inquirer's then-new transportation reporter laying out these concerns in some detail, along with other issues in SEPTA's operations. Over time those other issues fed into a number of his stories, but the Key's problems? Barely a peep, which makes me wonder what's going on.
Last edited by JeffK on Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...
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Re: Are they kidding me with the proposed fare hikes?

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Jun 27, 2017 3:11 pm

Am I reading the chart right?

Trenton to Center City = $9.25
Round trip = $18.50

One Day Independence Pass including the above + bus, trolley and subway = $18.00
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Re: SEPTA fare increase - Effective: July 1,2017

Postby MACTRAXX » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:25 pm

JS (and Everyone:)

With the new tariff the Zone NJ Trenton-CCP -AND- the Anywhere VIA CCP fares are going
to be the SAME price: $9.25 pre paid. The Anywhere via CCP ticket has obvious advantages...

The kicker here is that the on board cash fare for the Anywhere one way is going to be $9.00
-which is 25 cents cheaper then the prepaid $9.25 ticket.

The Zone NJ-CCP on board cash fare will be $10.00 which is $1 more then the Anywhere via
CCP cash fare. It seems more confusing then it needs to be...:wink:

The Anywhere fare has the distinctive advantage of being valid anywhere to any other point on
SEPTA RRD VIA CCP at ALL times without restrictions. It is better to have and use the prepaid
ticket since it will be valid for 6 months from the date of sale.

Zone NJ Ten Trip tickets will be $82.50 up from $80.00 ($8.25 each up from $8.00) which can
be used by the ticket holder and anyone traveling along since it comes in the form of a strip.
These tickets are transferrable and valid at all times without restriction between TRE and CCP.

The new Independence Pass fare will be $13 up from $12 and will be valid weekdays on all RRD
trains arriving or passing through CCP after 9:30am on weekdays. The Zone NJ surcharge is $5
in EACH direction meaning $10 extra cash on board for a round trip.

There IS a cheaper alternative: a $3.75 (up from the current $3.50) Intermediate ticket which
is the legal one way fare ($4 on board) from any station on the Trenton Line as far as North
Philadelphia and any station in between to or from Trenton.

Another interesting fare change is that the minimum weekly/monthly pass acceptable on the
Airport Line on weekdays will be the Zone 1 pass. Currently a Transpass is now accepted at
all times on the Airport Line and between the five CCP stations Temple U to University City
on weekdays. The weekend Anywhere privileges for all weekly/monthly pass types remains
the same when used on RRD trains.

MACTRAXX
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Re: Are they kidding me with the proposed fare hikes?

Postby jamesinclair » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:49 am

MACTRAXX, that fare system is as clear as the tiles on a station wall.
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Re: SEPTA fare increase - Effective July 1, 2017

Postby MACTRAXX » Sat Jul 01, 2017 8:40 am

Everyone:

The new SEPTA fares are effective today and after reading the two public fare cards (one for Regional Rail and the
other for Transit) I took notice that Transpasses will continue to be valid on the Airport Line on weekdays - which
conflicts directly with what is written in the new tariff. Another change is that Transpasses will no longer be valid
for travel between the five Center City stations - which makes no sense to me noting that they will continue to be
accepted on the Airport Line weekdays.

It will be interesting to get an idea how many tokens were sold before the fare increase. Those that did stock up
are saving 70 cents a ride with the new $2.50 cash base fare. Tokens are now $2 each.

MACTRAXX
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