SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

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

Post by dcipjr » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:16 am

I've been using a Key card for my Trailpass this month, and it's been a real eye-opener. I would say that about a third of the time, the conductor on the train just sees the card and moves on. When they do scan it, it beeps and accepts (I guess) the card most of the time, but the conductor usually moves on as soon as it indicates that the card is read -- I can see that there's a display that shows the status of the card that comes up later, but it's several seconds later.

I have to wonder whether this is why the Key doesn't support single trips on the regional rail yet -- there's a good chance that the conductor wouldn't even collect the virtual ticket.

It's ironic, considering that SEPTA was so intent on avoiding proof-of-payment on the railroad, and yet we've essentially wound up with the honor system anyway -- just without the fines!

One wonders how much revenue they're losing, between having to pay the transit ambassadors, having to support two modes of ticketing, needless infrastructure (faregates and fencing), and fare evasion, which is now easier than ever.

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

Post by JeffK » Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:54 pm

dcipjr wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:16 am
It's ironic, considering that SEPTA was so intent on avoiding proof-of-payment on the railroad, and yet we've essentially wound up with the honor system anyway -- just without the fines!
Several of us have been following the debacle since the NPT days and more or less predicted it would come to this. Every interaction I've had with people at 1234 (both on and off the record) re fare collection has been thickly coated with the fear that somewhere, somehow, a random passenger might ride without payment. Even a simple mention of P-o-P seemed toxic. IIRC it was MACTRAXX who named the mindset "Get every last dime, every single time".
One wonders how much revenue they're losing, between having to pay the transit ambassadors, having to support two modes of ticketing, needless infrastructure (faregates and fencing), and fare evasion, which is now easier than ever.
:-D :-D Nothing like spending millions to save thousands!

On top of that, the "last dime" mindset is in large part behind the decision to design the Key as an electronic replica of the legacy fare system. That's made the Key a lot more complex and costly than it might have been had SEPTA started with a clean slate. It's also resulted in the loss of smaller revenue streams like transit zone charges and senior RRD fares, which (at least as I understand things) weren't taken into account by planners focused on trying re-create other, more-visible aspects of the legacy system like transfers.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by Patrick Boylan » Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:31 pm

MichaelBug wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 7:46 am
When phoning the SEPTA Key customer service line (855-567-3782), there is no PROMPT for an option to speak to a live agent. But, if you press "1" for English, then listen to the entire menu, THEN press "0", the system WILL transfer you to an agent. Or, if you don't press ANY buttons at all, the system will cycle through the menu three times (takes about 2 1/2 minutes), then automatically transfer you to an agent. Try it!
I had a feeling it would have been possible to press zero to get an agent, but remember I don't want to phone them in the first place since they should be able to put in an email whatever it is they want to tell me on the phone. What I'm sure is really happening is that no one understood, or even read, the part of my emails to them where I repeated that the $4.95 fee has not shown up in my travel wallet, and they just want to repeat that it should be there and want to ignore that it isn't there.
Also remember that I had visited customer service at 12th and Market, the desk clerk there phoned somewhere and pressed a few buttons, probably something like dialing zero, I spent more than 15 minutes on hold with an agent only to have them say that SEPTA has 30 days to approve or deny my claim.

rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:46 am

dcipjr wrote:
Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:16 am
I've been using a Key card for my Trailpass this month, and it's been a real eye-opener. I would say that about a third of the time, the conductor on the train just sees the card and moves on. When they do scan it, it beeps and accepts (I guess) the card most of the time, but the conductor usually moves on as soon as it indicates that the card is read -- I can see that there's a display that shows the status of the card that comes up later, but it's several seconds later.

I have to wonder whether this is why the Key doesn't support single trips on the regional rail yet -- there's a good chance that the conductor wouldn't even collect the virtual ticket.

It's ironic, considering that SEPTA was so intent on avoiding proof-of-payment on the railroad, and yet we've essentially wound up with the honor system anyway -- just without the fines!

One wonders how much revenue they're losing, between having to pay the transit ambassadors, having to support two modes of ticketing, needless infrastructure (faregates and fencing), and fare evasion, which is now easier than ever.
I have used it for 11 months now on Regional Rail. Most of the time I had monthly Trail Passes and used weekly Trail Passes or daily Independence Passes for two months I was out of town for a significant period of time. I have not had any issues, but I have some similar observations:

(1) My Key Card is validated almost every morning, but occasionally am skipped if the Conductor remembers I have a pass (ride the same train most of the time in the AM). This behavior is not new to the Key Card.
(2) Midday seems to be verified most of the time.
(3) Evening commute seems to be where the Key Card is not verified as much. Fare collection is sort of sporadic on some of the evening commute runs anyway. Arguably having the Ambassadors ensures that more tickets are not reused at this point.
(4) The new Key website has an interesting level of detail on how the cards are validated.

As we see in the corporate world all the time, a process change brings other issues to light:

(1) Is there really validation that people are getting off at the right zone as their pass on evening commute train anyway? For example, if you got off at Malvern instead of Berwyn, are most conductors watching with that level of detail? The only place I see this done somewhat frequently is the Great Valley Flyer which only stops in Anywhere Pass territory.
(2) How many tickets were being reused on evening trains due to the lack of collection due to overcrowding? Some of the most crowded trains practically ran on the honor system due to the inability to collect tickets. At least the Ambassadors are clicking them now.

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

Post by CNJGeep » Fri Jun 21, 2019 10:53 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:46 am


I have used it for 11 months now on Regional Rail. Most of the time I had monthly Trail Passes and used weekly Trail Passes or daily Independence Passes for two months I was out of town for a significant period of time. I have not had any issues, but I have some similar observations:

(1) My Key Card is validated almost every morning, but occasionally am skipped if the Conductor remembers I have a pass (ride the same train most of the time in the AM). This behavior is not new to the Key Card.
(2) Midday seems to be verified most of the time.
(3) Evening commute seems to be where the Key Card is not verified as much. Fare collection is sort of sporadic on some of the evening commute runs anyway. Arguably having the Ambassadors ensures that more tickets are not reused at this point.
(4) The new Key website has an interesting level of detail on how the cards are validated.

As we see in the corporate world all the time, a process change brings other issues to light:

(1) Is there really validation that people are getting off at the right zone as their pass on evening commute train anyway? For example, if you got off at Malvern instead of Berwyn, are most conductors watching with that level of detail? The only place I see this done somewhat frequently is the Great Valley Flyer which only stops in Anywhere Pass territory.
(2) How many tickets were being reused on evening trains due to the lack of collection due to overcrowding? Some of the most crowded trains practically ran on the honor system due to the inability to collect tickets. At least the Ambassadors are clicking them now.
To answer your first question, some conductors pay a little more attention than others. Plus, if you're on a regular assignment, it's easier to remember who gets off where and what they have. Commuters are amazing creatures of habit. When I was in uniform, I would remind a zone-jumper once, then start collecting the fare the next time. That usually corrected the behavior and they had the correct pass the following week or month. It was extremely common to have people with a Zone 1 or 2 ticket or pass on a Bryn Mawr express. They know better 99% of the time. In those cases, I would charge the $4 each time, without exception. The usual retort was "That's what they sold me this morning." Flip the ticket over and it says "Haverford."

As for your second question, I'd imagine there's still quite a few. During Silverliner V Gate, a common scam was to buy a Zone 1 pass and a handful of intermediate tickets. The people at the top of steps at that time were keeping all the tickets they punched, so people would buy a cheaper pass, knowing no fare collection would take place in the afternoon, and was sporadic at best in the AM, given the extreme shortage of ACs. If someone did actually get to them in the morning, they would hand over an intermediate ticket. Another common scam was to rip the portion of the ticket that contains the punched "S" or "N" block and try to pass it off the next morning. Forest Hills and Somerton are notorious for this, and when you ask they answer in Russian. Well, the joke was on them when an AC was awarded the job who spoke fluent Russian. Game over.
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sammy2009
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by sammy2009 » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:58 am

Funny thing , i have a zone 1 trailpass. I got on at 30th St last night because i was going to Primos and i brought a quick trip ticket...so i get off at Primos just out of curiosity i tap my card and it was "Accepted" ...and im like "How ?, this is Zone 2". And the conductors are all over the place with the checking of the key cards on the train they will look sometimes and just be like "OK". I think there is a feeling of "I can't check all of them because the next stop is coming up quick."

And also SEPTA is looking for testers of the new SEPTA APP where you can see your balance of your key card and how many rides you have left , i asked via twitter would this be the process of using the KEY CARD via the SEPTA APP Which would take it into the mobile age...no response. I signed up to be a early adopter and tester.

rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:56 pm

sammy2009 wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:58 am
And also SEPTA is looking for testers of the new SEPTA APP where you can see your balance of your key card and how many rides you have left , i asked via twitter would this be the process of using the KEY CARD via the SEPTA APP Which would take it into the mobile age...no response. I signed up to be a early adopter and tester.
I downloaded the test SEPTA App. Does not go as far as I would like from a technological perspective, but it has a nice function to track usage and purchase fare products.

sammy2009
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by sammy2009 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:19 am

rcthompson04 wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:56 pm
sammy2009 wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:58 am
And also SEPTA is looking for testers of the new SEPTA APP where you can see your balance of your key card and how many rides you have left , i asked via twitter would this be the process of using the KEY CARD via the SEPTA APP Which would take it into the mobile age...no response. I signed up to be a early adopter and tester.
I downloaded the test SEPTA App. Does not go as far as I would like from a technological perspective, but it has a nice function to track usage and purchase fare products.
I finally got the email link to download and test. I do like that the function of the website is mobile.....it doesn't go as far as i would like it either. Atleast i know there is hope when ever i hold my iPhone near a turnstyle my apple pay springs up lol...i feel like MTA will have their mobile metrocard well "OMNY" before SEPTA rollout the NFC mobile payment feature.

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

Post by ChesterValley » Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:31 am

Meanwhile: https://i.redd.it/g9zz3rysgp831.jpg

I tried looking at the SEPTA website for confirmation, couln't find anything even after making a sitemap.

Anyways, the highlights:
  • Zone 3 and 4 will stop selling weekly Trail passes effective August 12th. Zone 3 and 4 stop monthly sales as of September.
  • Zone 1 and 2 stop selling weekly Passes effective September 9th, Zone 1 and 2 stop selling monthly passes as of October.
The transition to the key does not apply to Compass or monthly parking permits.

In other news:
  • Effective September 3rd, Conductor sales of one day independence passes will stop. Avalible for purchase at regional rail stations and on the Key card.
  • Effective July 8th, Conductors will stop accepting 50's and 100 dollar bills. Largest denomination accepted is 20 now.
  • Travel Wallet to be activated in December.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by Head-end View » Sun Jul 07, 2019 7:07 pm

So what if you're an occasional rider who gets on at an outlying station with no ticket agent and you used to buy an Independence Pass from the conductor. What will you do now? Maybe buy a one-way fare and exchange it for an Independence Pass at a Center City Station? :(

ExCon90
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ExCon90 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:21 pm

... if they've even thought that far ahead. Philadelphia has two dueling Convention and Visitors' Bureaus--I wonder whether it would do any good for them to lean on SEPTA to come up with something more visitor-friendly for out-of-towners who bring money with them and leave some of it here. The city has representation on the SEPTA board.

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

Post by JeffK » Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:17 pm

ExCon90 wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 3:21 pm
... if they've even thought that far ahead. Philadelphia has two dueling Convention and Visitors' Bureaus--I wonder whether it would do any good for them to lean on SEPTA to come up with something more visitor-friendly for out-of-towners who bring money with them and leave some of it here. The city has representation on the SEPTA board.
I tried to contact the bureaus a few years ago regarding then-applicable issues faced by visitors, etc. I also sent copies to Rina Cutler who was then involved with transit issues in the mayor's office. They had ZERO interest.

Council member Helen Gym might be a resource. She’s expressed interest in addressing some of the Key's problems, although so far most of her concerns are about the difficulty it poses for low-income riders. But maybe she’d be willing to look at its effects on visitors and other occasional users too.
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rcthompson04
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by rcthompson04 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:24 pm

ChesterValley wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:31 am
Meanwhile: https://i.redd.it/g9zz3rysgp831.jpg

I tried looking at the SEPTA website for confirmation, couln't find anything even after making a sitemap.

Anyways, the highlights:
  • Zone 3 and 4 will stop selling weekly Trail passes effective August 12th. Zone 3 and 4 stop monthly sales as of September.
  • Zone 1 and 2 stop selling weekly Passes effective September 9th, Zone 1 and 2 stop selling monthly passes as of October.
The transition to the key does not apply to Compass or monthly parking permits.

In other news:
  • Effective September 3rd, Conductor sales of one day independence passes will stop. Avalible for purchase at regional rail stations and on the Key card.
  • Effective July 8th, Conductors will stop accepting 50's and 100 dollar bills. Largest denomination accepted is 20 now.
  • Travel Wallet to be activated in December.
Glad to see the Travel Wallet is being turned on finally. I must say this rollout strikes me as the typical you are behind schedule and now need to get it done ASAP situation. Once we get Apple Pay functionality I will be set.

That said I was an early adopter back last summer and am a sort of tech savvy millennial in my early 30s so I am probably the wrong audience on whether it is good or not.

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

Post by BuddCar711 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:47 am

ChesterValley wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:31 am
Meanwhile: https://i.redd.it/g9zz3rysgp831.jpg
Guess it was bound to happen, but still upset. My two main issues with the Key are the ride caps and not being able to use it on DART like you can with the legacy TrailPass. So far on the DART website, there is still no mention of the Key card. Looks like my days of going to Delaware to shop are numbered.

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

Post by MACTRAXX » Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:16 pm

Everyone:

Significant changes for Regional Rail with near-full conversion to the Key by the end of 2019.
There is a huge amount to discuss about these subjects...
From the notice here is what SEPTA's fare change plan is:

Zones 3-4 is slated to sell the last Legacy Weekly Trailpass for the week of August 5-11.
Beginning August 12 all 3-4 Weekly Trailpasses must use the Key.

September 2019 will be the last Legacy Monthly Trailpass for Zones 3-4.
Beginning with October 2019 all Zone 3-4 Monthly Trailpasses must use the Key.

Zones 1-2 is slated to sell the last Legacy Weekly Trailpass for the week of September 2-8.
Beginning September 9 all Zone 1-2 Weekly Trailpasses must use the Key.

October 2019 will be the last Legacy Monthly Trailpass for Zones 1-2.
Beginning with November 2019 all Zone 1-2 Monthly Trailpasses must use the Key.

The exceptions that will continue to use Legacy Monthly passes will be riders in the COMPASS program
and at stations that sell rear view mirror hang tag monthly parking permits.

I feel that the conversion should be over FOUR consecutive months for Monthly Trailpasses. The Anywhere
(Zones 4/NJ) should be first to see how this mandatory changeover to the Key affects riders.

Zone 3 is by far the largest single Regional Rail fare zone - with over half of total RRD Trailpasses sold.
The conversion for Zone 3 should be undertaken for this zone by itself.

There is mention about all the TVMs (fare kiosks) outside the farelines at the Center City stations to be in
service. What about outlying stations - will there be any TVMs or TOM's (LIRR terminology for a Ticket
Office Machine used by an Agent or Clerk to sell transportation fare media) that can handle the Key?
Are the Center City ticket offices going to be all equipped to handle all types of Key card sales/service?

With the conversion to the Key will perks that Legacy Passes have such as Anywhere privileges on weekends
and Monthly Trailpasses being valid until 10 AM of the first working day of the next month end?
Will this also end Zone 3 Trailpasses being valid Anywhere during weekday Off Peak hours?

City riders have two perks of their own - the first that transpasses were accepted on the Airport Line which
ended at the beginning of July. The minimum pass to now ride Regional Rail on weekdays is the Zone 1 pass.
The Zone 1 pass is valid to all RRD stations within the City of Philadelphia on weekdays off peak.
With the Key conversion will this alternate fare option to use a Zone 1 pass continue?

The July 8 change to no longer accept $50 or $100 bills on board should have little affect - the only possible
problem zone is Zone NJ with the high on board fare - and perhaps from the Airport. What is SEPTA's on
board policy when one of these bills is offered for fare? For example if one purchases a Family Fare I Pass
on board - $30 for a CCP ticket office exchange (or $35 from Zone NJ) with a $50 bill what would happen?

Discontinuing on board sales of individual Independence Passes begins on September 3-the day after Labor
Day this year. Will riders have to then purchase a single on-board fare or will SEPTA continue to sell a cash
fare receipt for $13 which can be exchanged at a open ticket office for a paper I Pass? With 2019 printed
I Passes already available this change should be either at the end of the year or until preprinted I Pass
on board stock is totally depleted depending on what the RRD fare change decisions actually will be.
The best I Pass option is pre-purchase at a open ticket office or online from the SEPTA Store - which
is going to remain the same. On board I Pass purchases did make them available at all times...

In closing MAJOR changes to SEPTA RRD fares are coming...Will the SEPTA Key be fully ready for them? MACTRAXX
EXPRESS TRAIN TO NEW YORK PENN STATION-NO JAMAICA ON THIS TRAIN-PLEASE STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING TRAIN DOORS

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