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"?

Post by Head-end View » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:14 pm

I'm going to be in the Philadelphia area for a few days later this month. I expect to make one or two round-trips on Regional Rail from Langhorne to Center City on weekdays. I've just finished reading everything on SEPTA's website about fares, the key, etc and I'm still confused. :(

What will be the best round-trip fare option and how do I buy and use it?

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

Post by CNJGeep » Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:15 pm

Head-end View wrote:I'm going to be in the Philadelphia area for a few days later this month. I expect to make one or two round-trips on Regional Rail from Langhorne to Center City on weekdays. I've just finished reading everything on SEPTA's website about fares, the key, etc and I'm still confused. :(

What will be the best round-trip fare option and how do I buy and use it?
If you're travelling off-peak, buy Independence Passes (Day Passes). Note that your train has to arrive in Center City after 9:30AM.
If you're travelling in the AM Peak, you'll need two Zone 4 tickets, or buy a round-trip from the conductor ($16), or buy a one way from the conductor ($8) and get a discount at the ticket office with your receipt for the trip back. A ten-trip might be your best bet if you're just going to be taking the train, and doing it more than two or three days.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by MACTRAXX » Sat Oct 06, 2018 9:55 am

H-E View:
I will second CNJ and suggest that you purchase the $13 Independence Pass for your traveling. As mentioned look at the West Trenton schedule
and choose a train that passes through Center City after 9:30AM and remember that the IPass is valid for unlimited use on all SEPTA services
with the only restriction being the $5 charge to travel to Zone NJ (Trenton and West Trenton) and therefore would be the best fare option.

With the Center City RRD stations gated between 6AM and 8PM just show your pass to a gate attendant to enter. IPasses are an even bigger bargain
especially since transfers for cash/token transit riders were eliminated in August.

Zone 4 Weekday tickets are $6.75 prepaid or $8 on board. That round trip fare is about the same as the cost of the IPass for the record...
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by Head-end View » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:41 pm

Thanks guys. I will be traveling after 9:30am so no problem there. And I still buy the Independence Pass from the conductor or ticket agent at Langhorne, just like in the past right? And you answered my question about how that works at Center City stations. I couldn't understand how you'd use the Pass at the turnstiles, but if there's a gate attendant then no problem.

One other question: Is SEPTA eventually going to phase out the card type Independence Passes, and require that you load it onto an NPT card? And if so how will you buy one at an outlying station unless they install vending machines there?

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

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:39 am

H-E View: Legacy Independence Passes may be eventually phased out in favor of same loaded onto a Key but this is
likely a long way off...Passes currently being sold at stations have the dates 2018-2019 on them meaning they will
be valid until the end of 2019 - but the version sold on trains which comes in the form of a “pad” only has 2018 on
it. The big difference is that IPasses sold on trains are used right then and there instead of buying from an agency
for future use.

Another interesting fact about one way ticket types: Legacy tickets (the traditional type) are valid for 180 days from
sale (the equivalent of six months) but one way tickets purchased from a TVM on Quick Trip stock are only valid on
the day of purchase - there are TVMs at PHL International Airport selling CCP and VIA (CCP to Anywhere) tickets to
save riders the on board penalty charge - this is quite a difference in the period of validity and this regressive fare
policy may be implemented along with RRD TVM installations for the Key...

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

Post by andrewjw » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:08 pm

The same-day requirement reminds me of CalTrain's policy, which uses essentially 4-hour expiry RRD Quick Trips to allow Proof of Payment enforcement.

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

Post by CNJGeep » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:37 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:H-E View: Legacy Independence Passes may be eventually phased out in favor of same loaded onto a Key but this is likely a long way off
A revenue notice was released to conductors and trainmen recently which stated an Independence Pass may be placed on a Key Card effective 10/1. However there are no plans to my knowledge to phase out the card-style passes, as you stated
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by MichaelBug » Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:07 pm

CNJGeep wrote:
MACTRAXX wrote:H-E View: Legacy Independence Passes may be eventually phased out in favor of same loaded onto a Key but this is likely a long way off
A revenue notice was released to conductors and trainmen recently which stated an Independence Pass may be placed on a Key Card effective 10/1. However there are no plans to my knowledge to phase out the card-style passes, as you stated
I can confirm that the option to purchase an Independence Pass now appears on the Add Fare Products screen when I'm in my online Key account.

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

Post by Head-end View » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:01 pm

Thanks again for all the input. It's a lot clearer now. Sounds like SEPTA has created a real mess for themselves and the riding public. LOL

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

Post by JeffK » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:36 pm

Head-end View wrote:Sounds like SEPTA has created a real mess for themselves and the riding public. LOL
More than "sounds like", haha! Check out the earlier part of this thread ... the Key is fine if you’re a nice, middle class, 9-to-5 rider who commutes to Center City every day. If you’re outside that demographic (e.g. an infrequent rider, lower-income, a visitor, etc.) it can be a major pain, depending on your circumstances less convenient and more expensive than the clunky old system it was supposed to improve.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Oct 08, 2018 3:25 pm

... and we're still waiting to find out what happens when a 65-year-old Pennsylvania resident from outside SEPTA's area is told that he'll have to pay the regular fare because he doesn't have a SEPTA Senior Key card. This has been discussed previously, and I suppose it will come down to the wording of the legislation providing for the use of state lottery funds to finance the discounts.

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

Post by JeffK » Fri Oct 12, 2018 11:07 am

The Key CF just keeps growing more & more dimensions ...

http://www2.philly.com/philly/business/ ... 81011.html
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by MACTRAXX » Sat Oct 13, 2018 2:19 pm

Jeff: I agree completely-SEPTA needs to get across to merchants and riders in the low income communities affected that the Key
will not cost riders more money over and above the actual cost and that any price gouging will not be tolerated...MACTRAXX
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by Head-end View » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:12 pm

And if that doesn't work, the SEPTA Police Dept. should send undercover officers with concealed body cameras into these stores where complaints are received and catch the bastards in the act and arrest the owners.

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

Post by ChesterValley » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:21 am

I find the SEPTA Key to be extremely troubling for lower income riders. I'm surprised at how much SEPTA is treating the poor as collateral damage, despite roughly 29% of SEPTA's ridership being below 25k according to the 2018 FY Operating budget. For those that don't know, the federal poverty line is defined as 25k for four person household and 12k for single person household.

What SEPTA has chosen to do is create choices that people don't like, increasing costs while not improving the core of the fare system. Instead, SEPTA should create little freebees then pull the rug out like everyone else normally does.

This leads me to a question I have had for the past two years watching this system develop, What would have been a better way to implement the Key?

A couple of fixes I would like to propose: elimination of the 5 dollar key purchase fee, group discounts for four or more people with a steeper discount for more people capped at 25% like NJ transit, reduced fare for college students, elimination of the on board surcharge, elimination of the transfer fee, automatic discount applied to a train that is in excess of 30 minutes late (well, I can dream), TVM's at higher usage stations outside of Center City i.e. Bryn Mawr/Paoli. Perhaps free interchange between the NHSL and El.

The bus division has eaten a 17% decline in ridership in the past 5 years, so SEPTA can only ignore these problems for so long
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