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

Post by rcthompson04 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:11 am

The system crash on the first day of the weekday of December is not a good sign. My understanding is that December is an off month for monthly passes, but there was probably more activity for weekly passes. I suspect the logic on SEPTA's part (probably not a bad idea long term, but is going to require adjusting) is that people will eventually buy more fare products through the Key app. I suspect I am in a small minority actively using the app for such purposes. It will be interesting to see how things play out in January and February.

I wonder if one consequence of Key is that people buy less monthly and weekly passes. I don't need a monthly pass every month. I know a few other Zone 4 riders who use the Daily Independence Passes on the Key in lieu of tickets or monthly/weekly passes when we are riding less during a month. For other people, I could see them just using paper tickets more often. It will be interesting to see how

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

Post by JimBoylan » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:35 am

S.E.P.T.A. does have an incentive to rush the elimination of unlimited trip "legacy" passes, since replacing them with finite trip passes is a fare increase. Also, rail riders are more likely to exceed the limit on a pass, as they might also use transit to start or end their journeys, and most changes of vehicle count as a trip. Does riding through center city, or changing from an express to a local train, count as a 2nd trip?

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

Post by rcthompson04 » Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:57 am

JimBoylan wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:35 am
S.E.P.T.A. does have an incentive to rush the elimination of unlimited trip "legacy" passes, since replacing them with finite trip passes is a fare increase. Also, rail riders are more likely to exceed the limit on a pass, as they might also use transit to start or end their journeys, and most changes of vehicle count as a trip. Does riding through center city, or changing from an express to a local train, count as a 2nd trip?
Even under the scenario you describe, someone would have an incredibly hard time reaching 240 taps in a month. That would require 8 taps a day in a 30 day month. I am curious if anyone has bumped into the 240 taps a month maximum.

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

Post by MACTRAXX » Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:18 pm

RCT:

First you must remember that ALL rides no matter what length or type are going to count towards a cap limit.
A $2.50 transit ride will be the same as a $10 ride from CCP to Zone NJ in physical number. Anyone riding combinations
of vehicles are going to be the riders that have to worry about exceeding the 240 ride monthly limit with the Key.
Without an easy way to keep count of rides this could add to problems keeping a ongoing ride tally.

Privileges that Legacy Pass holders do now have - such as Anywhere privileges on weekends - may end up being
curtailed or possibly even eliminated under the Key. Ending the true unlimited use options that Legacy Passes
offer is going to be a huge change for many riders - especially of the car-less SEPTA dependent type.

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

Post by JeffK » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:39 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:57 am
JimBoylan wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:35 am
SEPTA does have an incentive to rush the elimination of unlimited trip "legacy" passes, since replacing them with finite trip passes is a fare increase. Also, rail riders are more likely to exceed the limit on a pass, as they might also use transit to start or end their journeys, and most changes of vehicle count as a trip. Does riding through center city, or changing from an express to a local train, count as a 2nd trip?
Even under the scenario you describe, someone would have an incredibly hard time reaching 240 taps in a month. That would require 8 taps a day in a 30 day month. I am curious if anyone has bumped into the 240 taps a month maximum.
When SEPTA first imposed ride caps (2013 ?) they were much lower, to the point where many regular commuters would have exceeded the maximum after about 15-20 days. After significant blowback SEPTA came up with the 240 figure as a compromise. Even so, there were a complaints from people who were dependent on SEPTA that they could easily exceed the higher figure.

I can't speak for those passengers, but out here near the Maul ... I mean Mall, I can see how workers could hit 8 taps per workday: Bus to El, El to P&W, P&W to 12X bus. The unknown factor is whether they'd also rack up that many on non-work days, absent something like pass-sharing which IIRC was the reason SEPTA originally cited as a justification for caps.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

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

Post by JeffK » Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:58 pm

rcthompson04 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:11 am
The system crash on the first day of the weekday of December is not a good sign. My understanding is that December is an off month for monthly passes, but there was probably more activity for weekly passes. I suspect the logic on SEPTA's part (probably not a bad idea long term, but is going to require adjusting) is that people will eventually buy more fare products through the Key app. I suspect I am in a small minority actively using the app for such purposes. It will be interesting to see how things play out in January and February.

I wonder if one consequence of Key is that people buy fewer [s]less[/s] monthly and weekly passes. I don't need a monthly pass every month. I know a few other Zone 4 riders who use the Daily Independence Passes on the Key in lieu of tickets or monthly/weekly passes when we are riding less during a month. For other people, I could see them just using paper tickets more often. It will be interesting to see how
BillyPenn reports that SEPTA gave up and waived fares till the system was restored, losing them something on order of a quarter-million bucks. I guess that expense gets filed under "negative savings" - ??
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

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

Post by MACTRAXX » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:35 am

RCT: December is NOT an off-month for monthly pass sales even though there are variations to the
ticket or pass types that riders will purchase depending on off days or holiday vacation time. This is
different than the Summer months of July and August in which RRD ridership can be around 10 %
less than in other months during the rest of the year and when riders purchase Weekly Passes or
10 ride tickets more often.

Any months in which the first working day of the month begins on Monday can be very busy with
both Monthly and Weekly Passes in demand. When the first working day of the month is another
weekday it tends to divide the initial demand somewhat.

I decided to look ahead at a 2020 calendar and note the first working days for each month along
with comments or notes:
Thursday January 2nd (New Year's Day is a Wednesday as is Christmas 2019 this time around)
Monday February 3rd* (2020 is a leap year with 29 days in February)
Monday March 2nd*
Wednesday April 1st
Friday May 1st (Memorial Day is Monday May 25th)
Monday June 1st*
Wednesday July 1st (July 4th is a Saturday)
Monday August 3rd*
Tuesday September 1st (Labor Day is September 7th - as late as it can be)
Thursday October 1st
Monday November 2nd* (Thanksgiving Weekend is Thursday-Sunday November 26-29)
Tuesday December 1st (Christmas is Friday December 25)
* notes both Monthly and Weekly Passes beginning valid periods on the same day

With New Year's Day 2021 on a Friday the first working day of January will be on the 4th.
That may divide some pass sales but as in the past the majority of riders will wait until the
first working day of the month to purchase their new passes.

Let's see how 2020 pans out for SEPTA pass buyers...MACTRAXX
Last edited by MACTRAXX on Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JimBoylan
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JimBoylan » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:32 am

Add a round trip between the office and the lunch place to the multi vehicle commute, and you're much more likely to reach the ride limit on a pass.

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

Post by rcthompson04 » Thu Dec 05, 2019 3:21 pm

JimBoylan wrote:
Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:32 am
Add a round trip between the office and the lunch place to the multi vehicle commute, and you're much more likely to reach the ride limit on a pass.
I think it is possible, but we have not seen complaints since the limit was raised. Riding 8 times a day in a 30 day month is a bit of a stretch. So what would be the ideal limit? I think getting above 300 would be impossible unless you tried to do so.

BuddCar711
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by BuddCar711 » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:18 am

Does that riding 8 times per day include weekends as well?

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

Post by JeffK » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:43 pm

BuddCar711 wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:18 am
Does that riding 8 times per day include weekends as well?
Yes. The caps are for the pass' calendar period (week or month).

IIRC the 240 was a semi-compromise to meet the needs of people who depend entirely on SEPTA for their transportation while (supposedly) discouraging flagrant pass-sharing. I’m not sure how much of a problem sharing really is/was but there were anecdotal stories of families who’d buy one or two passes, then share them among everyone in the house. At work people would occasionally borrow a pass to go out for lunch or shopping, but there’s no possible way that kind of casual use would come near 240 total taps per month.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

ryan92084
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ryan92084 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:06 pm

Calling the issues on Monday a crash is a stretch. The system never fully went down but was extremely sluggish for 30min-1h between 7:00 and 8:00 or so. Anyone who has tried to but a pass on a monthly Monday shouldn't be surprised that this time period would be a big stress test for the first month when most stations have ceased legacy sales.

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

Post by JeffK » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:22 pm

ryan92084 wrote:
Tue Dec 10, 2019 12:06 pm
Calling the issues on Monday a crash is a stretch. The system never fully went down but was extremely sluggish for 30min-1h between 7:00 and 8:00 or so. Anyone who has tried to buy a pass on a monthly Monday shouldn't be surprised that this time period would be a big stress test for the first month when most stations have ceased legacy sales.
True, but when building a transaction-based product, especially one that’s highly time-sensitive, the usual practice is to ensure the design can respond to reasonably-expected demand peaks without choking. If nothing else, during development SEPTA and Conduent should have been able to estimate high transaction densities based on customer behavior under the legacy system, then simulate that demand with the new database and servers.

I admit I don’t know how much and what kind of stress-testing was actually done during development, but naïvely one would think that extra demand when new month starts on a Monday shouldn’t have been a surprise.
Requiem for it's/its, your/you're, than/then, less/fewer. They were once such nice words with such different meanings...

ryan92084
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ryan92084 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 7:33 am

I'm guessing they were hoping more people would sign up for the automatic renewal instead of using the apps/websites monday morning But with december being a holiday month it is popular for people to switch from monthlies to weeklies which thwarted that idea. The slowdown was definitely a fail and they should have seen it coming since it had been sluggish Monday mornings in weeks prior but not nearly as bad. I didn't hear anything bad about these past two Mondays so they could have beefed things up or it might just be the holiday.

So much for the fall travel wallet rollout all the official posting have, hah.

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

Post by sammy2009 » Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:22 pm

Recent articles says ApplePay will be rolled out sometime mid next year for fare payment ...all 4,000 + validators will be upgraded to support the feature. Change order for that was a bit over $4,000,000.

It’s about time they will have this feature. Will definitely make it more accessible for payment.

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