No Key? Pay double to transfer!

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: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby MACTRAXX » Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:46 am

Everyone:

With the deadline looming for the end of sales of paper transfers - and the last four RRD stations
that sell tokens to discontinue their sales after August 1st it is time to take note on how these two
factors will affect SEPTA transit cash/token fare riders. The four stations ending token sales after
Wednesday August 1st are Chester TC, Langhorne, Lansdale and Queen Lane.

http://www.philly.com/philly/columnists ... 80728.html

After reading about bus ridership continuing to decline because of competitors such as Uber and
Lyft it would be better to implement changes that would encourage ridership instead of this being
another way to discourage discretional riders. This new policy is likely to cause scenarios such as
riders using one vehicle and not transferring to save the $2.50 base additional fare charges.

http://www.philly.com/philly/business/t ... 80727.html

This is going to be an interesting week ahead for all SEPTA transit riders to see how much that
these new policies affect the system. More then likely many will be watching this situation...

MACTRAXX
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby JimBoylan » Sun Jul 29, 2018 7:40 pm

Giant supermarket on Grant Ave. won't have the Aug. Unlimited monthly Trans Pass, and they are already sold out of tokens.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby jamesinclair » Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:31 am

MACTRAXX is correct.

SEPTA is pricing based on what revenue they want to receive. Thats not how the world works. Riders are customers with choices. At these prices, people will choose other transportation options, including Uber Pool.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby JeffK » Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:54 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:This is going to be an interesting week ahead for all SEPTA transit riders to see how much these new policies affect the system. More than [then] likely many will be watching this situation...

On my most recent trips from the western 'burbs into Center City I saw a number of riders still paying in cash. I stopped about half a dozen of them and asked if they were aware that starting Wednesday they'd have to pay two separate fares. Only ONE knew, and that was a woman who was using cash because she'd accidentally left her Key card at home. I'm concerned that if there's a lot of surprised riders come mid-week, some of them are going to take it out on the drivers instead of on the fools at 1234.

SEPTA's even handed a big "SrcuYou" to people who stocked up on tokens - yeah, they're good indefinitely but now you'll need two of them if you transfer.

After reading about bus ridership continuing to decline because of competitors such as Uber and Lyft it would be better to implement changes that would encourage ridership instead of this being another way to discourage discretional riders. This new policy is likely to cause scenarios such as riders using one vehicle and not transferring to save the $2.50 base additional fare charges.

That's a long-known problem with transfers at just $1 so I agree completely it's only going to get a LOT worse at 2.5 times that amount. It should be interesting to see if the C bus becomes even more crowded because fewer people will use it as a feeder for the BSS. And out here in southern Montco, the new fee combined with the Key-induced flattening of long-distance fares could induce more people to stay on the overcrowded 12X buses instead of transferring to the NHSL / El.

FWIW I contacted both the city's transportation overseer and the Inky to see if anyone was willing to look into how ridiculous this idea is. The city never even bothered to offer the courtesy of a response + OR -, and the only noise out of the Inquirer was Maria Panaritis' feel-good article.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby mcgrath618 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 3:04 pm

Question: the title implies that if I have a SEPTA key, I will still have transfers. Is this true?
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby JeffK » Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:52 pm

mcgrath618 wrote:Question: the title implies that if I have a SEPTA key, I will still have transfers. Is this true?

Yes. Key-card users will still be able to transfer for a dollar, but you won't get a paper transfer slip; the $1 fee will be automatically deducted from your card.

The system's supposed to "know" when you board a connecting vehicle as part of a single trip and deduct $1 instead of $2, but so far the specific criteria for making the determination remain something of a state secret. Presumably SEPTA's revenue people are concerned (as always) about someone getting cheaper rides by gaming the criteria. My concern is that especially in the suburbs, both the time window and location for a connecting vehicle may be a lot wider than in the city. At least so far there doesn't seem to be any way to find out whether what the system interprets as a valid transfer varies depending on how a connection is made.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby CNJ6s46 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:05 am

I've been wondering with this SEPTA key fiasco, how does it work if I paid with cash for my ticket when I get on? I usually get on at Exton, and I don't believe there's a kiosk there.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby JeffK » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:27 pm

CNJ6s46 wrote:I've been wondering with this SEPTA key fiasco, how does it work if I paid with cash for my ticket when I get on? I usually get on at Exton, and I don't believe there's a kiosk there.

They should (emphasis on the subjunctive) be installing a kiosk at Exton but so far even heavily-used stations closer in still aren't equipped. All in due time, some day, somehow. :(

Depending on your travel pattern and times, you may be better off getting a Key card which now works for Zone 4. Assuming your travel takes you near a sales outlet you can get one there, register it to get the $4.95 purchase fee rebated, and load it with enough funds for future trips: http://www.septa.org/fares/new/index.html. If for some reason you can't justify getting a Key card, another alternative would be to buy individual Zone 4 tickets from a station with a ticket office or online because they'll be less expensive.

In any case paying cash remains the most expensive and cumbersome option. The rules could have changed since the last time I checked*, but my understanding is that cash fares on the RRD still work as they have since 2013. Because there's no ticket office at Exton the wonderfully understanding folks at SEPTA will force you to pay the @#$! on-board surcharge; however IF you're going to a Center City station, take your ticket to the office there and the surcharge will be deducted from the cost of a same-day return ticket. (Of course if you're not going to CC, you're entitled to a big SEPTA "fuhgeddaboudit" ...)

When it comes to fares, "SEPTA" is just another way of spelling "Kafka".


* Disclosure: I now have a Senior Key card and haven't been as attentive as I might to other payment methods.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby bikentransit » Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:12 pm

Keep in mind Key is still useless on the trains unless you have a trailpass loaded on it. Travel wallet not an option, so if you're not a daily rider there's no point to having a lock card.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby JeffK » Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:44 am

bikentransit wrote:Keep in mind Key is still useless on the trains unless you have a trailpass loaded on it. Travel wallet not an option, so if you're not a daily rider there's no point to having a lock card.

Thank you! I confess to responding rather quickly and only delved partway into the morass of exceptions and gotchas that populate their website.


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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby Patrick Boylan » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:23 am

JeffK wrote:Because there's no ticket office at Exton the wonderfully understanding folks at SEPTA will force you to pay the @#$! on-board surcharge; however IF you're going to a Center City station, take your ticket to the office there and the surcharge will be deducted from the cost of a same-day return ticket. (Of course if you're not going to CC, you're entitled to a big SEPTA "fuhgeddaboudit" ...)

Or if you're going to CC after the ticket office is closed, or if you're not returning on the same day.
Why can't we just use the cash fare's receipt as credit for another ride ANY time we have a chance to get to a ticket office? When they calculate the benefit of squeezing every cent from discretionary travelers do they ever consider the lost revenue from those who decide not to use SEPTA for the discretionary trip? I know there are many times I've chosen to drive because at least one leg of my weekend spur of the moment round trip was outside of ticket office hours and I didn't want to pay a surcharge.
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Re: No Key? Pay double to transfer!

Postby pjabowling » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:50 pm

Septa has stated that the One Day Convenience Pass and the Independence Pass have made the transition to the Key Card. Depending on what Septa.org page you are on you get conflicting instructions on how to purchase one of these fare products.

Since Key has not fully rolled out on Regional Rail you can purchase an Independence Pass onboard a train and are given a paper receipt which can be exchanged for the paper card should you choose to ride a bus that day.

I have the Travel Wallet option on my Key card. I carry a balance on my card and as I use the system the fare is deducted at the old token rate. There are options online now to purchase both the One Day Convenience Pass and the Independence Pass but it is not at all clear how this works. Is the pass activated immediately after purchase or can I pre-load on of these for use when I want?

It's confusing to me and I've used all modes of Septa services. Add to that the stupid restrictions on the use of those fare products( 8 trips max on the Convenience, 9:30am restriction on regional rail on the Independence), the beeps and buzzes you get from the key validators, and the many bugs in the system and one can get frustrated pretty easily.
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