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 MichaelBug » Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:49 pm

bikentransit wrote:so once key goes into effect, will riders need to tap on the platform to get on the train AND have the conductor read the card on the train as well? What if one or both don't happen?


My understanding is once Key is fully up & running on RRD (& please feel free to correct me if needed):

A. Passenger boards the train at outlying station headed to Center City - (1) If He/she has a Key card - TAP at the platform validator before boarding. (2) Conductor SHOULD (but may not always) scan Key on board. If passenger does not have a valid Key, conductor issues Quick Trip onboard from hand-held validator at onboard fare. One of those two actions must occur, but NOT necessary both. (3) When departing train in Center City, passenger MUST tap Key or swipe the Quick Trip on the turnstile to exit station. Key would deduct the correct advance "ticket" fare from Travel Wallet or verify type of pass used, as needed.

If the passenger (with a Key) does NOT tap it on the platform validator before boarding, conductor would need to scan it onboard. Otherwise, passenger is subject to being charged highest zone fare from Travel Wallet at turnstile, before he/she can exit from Center City station.

B. Passenger boards the train in Center City headed out of town - (1) If he/she has a Key card - TAP at turnstile. If not, a Quick Trip (ticket) would need to be purchased at kiosk & that would be TAPPED at turnstile. (2) Conductor SHOULD (but may not always) scan Key on board. (3) At destination, Key should be tapped at outbound platform validator, but only really mandatory if using Travel Wallet feature - again, if this is not done, highest zone fare may be charged from Travel Wallet.

C. Passenger rides between outlying stations on same branch - Steps 1 & 2 are same as "A" above. Again, passenger would need to re-tap at destination station only if using Travel Wallet.

D. Passenger rides between outlying stations on 2 branches - Same as C, but passenger would need to tap on validator at transfer station also.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby bikentransit » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:41 pm

It seems like "tapping" the validator thingy at the outlying station is redundant. The customer essentially has to present their "fare" twice. I assume this is because SEPTA assumes conductors will miss some fares. But it also sounds like it's not saving much manpower in terms of what a conductor must do. So what if a passenger boards a train and wants to pay in cash, but the conductor never gets to that passenger (i.e. busy train, etc)? Also it sounds like if conductors assume passengers validate on the platform but passenger exits before center city, it could be a missed fare as well.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby dcipjr » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:18 pm

30th Street has been a complete mess this week. "Ambassadors" yelling (or using a bullhorn) for Wilmington/Newark passengers at the bottom of the ramp, "ambassadors" yelling for cash payers at the top of the ramp, and -- this one is my favorite -- "ambassadors" standing in the turnstiles so that people exiting the platform can't get through. Meanwhile only some turnstiles will let you swipe your monthly passes.

All this so that we can eventually go through a turnstile, tap a card, ride, and tap a card again -- instead of the old complicated system where you pulled out your pass onboard, flashed it to the conductor, and stuck it back in your wallet.

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

Postby Head-end View » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:29 pm

Hmmm...........I'm not getting this. If you're going to tap-in at your entry station and tap-out at your exiting station, then why will conductors need to collect fares at all? The new system should take the place of the conductor collecting fares on the train, or am I missing something? :(
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JimBoylan » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:31 am

The conductor is for people who refuse to tap.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby ExCon90 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:10 pm

What they ought to do is scrap the whole thing and go to a Proof-of-Payment system. (Oh, right -- that won't work in Philadelphia. Maybe something in the water?)
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Head-end View » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Jim, I didn't think refusing to tap would be possible if that's how the system is going to work.

And ExCon90, it's debatable whether a POP system would work in Philadelphia or any of the Northeast cities including New York area commuter railroads. But it is used on the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in New Jersey with reasonable success it would seem. I've ridden it and been asked to show my ticket by the NJ Transit fare-inspectors. And I saw them give a guy a summons once. But they are not armed police officers and who knows what confrontations they might get into with the wrong kind of people in a place like NYC or Phila.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby andrewjw » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:12 pm

Head-end View wrote:Jit's debatable whether a POP system would work in Philadelphia or any of the Northeast cities including New York area commuter railroads.

What's in your water?
POP works great. It's currently in use in the Northeast - MTA SBS.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby ExCon90 » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:27 pm

PoP works fine anywhere provided 3 criteria are met:
1) Local municipal authorities must be fully in accord with the system; i.e., no going to a city councilman and complaining "they made me pay a fare and collected a big penalty" and get it waived because they know somebody. (In Philadelphia, the -- now abolished -- Traffic Court swore up and down that they didn't fix tickets until someone pried loose the admission that they did show "special consideration.") There must be none of that if the system is to work -- and that might be a problem in Philadelphia.
2) The penalty for being without evidence of fare paid must be substantial; at least twice the price of a weekly pass to the farthest zones in the system, plus immediate payment of a one-way fare or else get off.
3) The perceived (by the passenger) frequency of inspection should be at least once a week, and preferably oftener, and at varying times and places. A passenger who pays for a monthly pass and has the feeling that he never has to show it will be strongly tempted to try riding without one next month. If he is aware that he never gets through a week without showing it he is far less likely to try something.
As for enforcement, when the Blue Line opened in LA the spot checks were done in the company of uniformed men with sidearms, possibly Sheriff's deputies, despite the sometimes dicey areas the trains traversed -- that seemed to do the job.
I've read that they recently gave up on the Red/Purple Line and are now checking fares at turnstiles, but as far as I know the Blue and Gold Lines are still PoP. I don't know why the Red Line was considered a special problem.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JimBoylan » Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:46 pm

Any form of enforcement must also deal with violators who have false or no identification.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby Head-end View » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:16 pm

Andrewjw, good point about the Select-Bus-Service in Manhattan. I actually have ridden it, but I'd forgotten.

ExCon90, I've been on POP systems in Calif. such as the San Francisco area commuter rail. (One conductor on a six-car train just to operate the doors) I believe most such systems in Calif. use Deputy Sheriffs for random fare checking which is good having armed police doing it so they can defend themselves if necessary and take appropriate actions. And they can detain someone with no ID for further investigation.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby andrewjw » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:46 pm

Head-end View wrote:Andrewjw, good point about the Select-Bus-Service in Manhattan. I actually have ridden it, but I'd forgotten.

I've been on board SBS fare inspections - it's almost frightening the first time, since the bus pulls over just before the stop and a fare inspector boards every door (all of them well-muscled individuals, but unarmed). Additionally, one (armed? at least with a large stick) police officer was on board to make arrests if necessary (someone who fails to establish ID).
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby JeffK » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:21 pm

MichaelBug wrote:B. Passenger boards the train in Center City headed out of town - (1) If he/she has a Key card - TAP at turnstile. If not, a Quick Trip (ticket) would need to be purchased at kiosk & that would be TAPPED at turnstile. (2) Conductor SHOULD (but may not always) scan Key on board. (3) At destination, Key should be tapped at outbound platform validator, but only really mandatory if using Travel Wallet feature - again, if this is not done, highest zone fare may be charged from Travel Wallet.

This sounds like a recipe for a major CF at some stations. Yesterday I made a round trip from Bryn Mawr which gets a lot of both local and CC-suburbs commuters. Granted the validators and kiosks aren't yet up and running, but at least at this point there are only a couple of machines on either side. Sooooo .... what happens on a rainy, windy afternoon when a local and an express show up within a few minutes of each other and disgorge say 75 or 80 passengers? Are they going to have to patiently line up on an open platform to tap out at those TWO (ok, so far) validators instead of just running for their cars?

The screaming should be, uh, "interesting".
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: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby jamesinclair » Tue Aug 14, 2018 12:56 pm

You do not have to travel to NYC for PoP. The Camden-Trenton River Line operates that way and always has. Sometimes, fare inspectors will be at the terminals. Sometimes they will get on in the middle.

Also, ID is not required to ride transit.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 3:32 pm

I think the poster may have been thinking of instances where the passenger without a ticket doesn't have any money either and refuses to give his true name and address for further action. I suppose that might constitute cause to remove him from the train and book him.
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