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

Post by Patrick Boylan » Mon May 13, 2019 9:24 am

https://www.facebook.com/RepCiresi/photos/a.457272348134747/536660323529282/?type=3&theater wrote:Rep. Joe Ciresi
SEPTA senior IDs are available from our district office, at no charge, for residents over the age of 65. No appointment is necessary. (301 N. Lewis Road, Royersford)

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

Post by JeffK » Mon May 13, 2019 12:59 pm

Patrick Boylan wrote:
https://www.facebook.com/RepCiresi/photos/a.457272348134747/536660323529282/?type=3&theater wrote:Rep. Joe Ciresi
SEPTA senior IDs are available from our district office, at no charge, for residents over the age of 65. No appointment is necessary. (301 N. Lewis Road, Royersford)
You can apply for a Senior Key at most/all local representatives' offices. The yuge "BUT" is that you can't get the card on the spot, it can take weeks to arrive by mail - mine was a month and a half.

On top of that they're phasing out PA drivers' licenses as an alternative ID. Any senior who can't wait for the mills of SEPTA's gods to grind will be stuck shelling out a full fare.

In DC all I had to do was go to a local library, show them something that proved my age, and in < 15 minutes I had a Senior SmartTrip card.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ExCon90 » Mon May 13, 2019 3:06 pm

You'll value it more if you have to wait for it ...

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

Post by Patrick Boylan » Tue May 14, 2019 1:51 am

JeffK wrote: You can apply for a Senior Key at most/all local representatives' offices. The yuge "BUT" is that you can't get the card on the spot, it can take weeks to arrive by mail - mine was a month and a half.
Does anyone know if the local politician office gives out anything equivalent to the paper interim card my wife got when she applied for her card at SEPTA headquarters around April or May 2018?
Forgive me if I've already mentioned this somewhere in the 423 prior pages in this thread, but my wife often insists we use the 'reserved for elderly and disabled' seats, so I must explain to her that if someone as old as her gets on I have to change seats.

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

Post by CNJGeep » Tue May 14, 2019 6:31 am

Hearing on the grapevine that quick trips on RRD will be making a very, very limited debut soon-think one day a week at one center city station, only in the afternoon.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JeffersonLeeEng » Tue May 14, 2019 9:53 am

Patrick Boylan wrote:
JeffK wrote: You can apply for a Senior Key at most/all local representatives' offices. The yuge "BUT" is that you can't get the card on the spot, it can take weeks to arrive by mail - mine was a month and a half.
Does anyone know if the local politician office gives out anything equivalent to the paper interim card my wife got when she applied for her card at SEPTA headquarters around April or May 2018?
Forgive me if I've already mentioned this somewhere in the 423 prior pages in this thread, but my wife often insists we use the 'reserved for elderly and disabled' seats, so I must explain to her that if someone as old as her gets on I have to change seats.
The Yellow and Blue Senior ID cards are no longer accepted by SEPTA--even though they're still usable on every other transit agency in the state. In all due honesty, if SEPTA is issuing senior cards with a picture on them, shouldn't they at least reciprocate in kind with the others? What happens if you need to use PART in Pottstown or BARTA in Berks County?

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

Post by JeffK » Tue May 14, 2019 1:41 pm

JeffersonLeeEng wrote:The Yellow and Blue Senior ID cards are no longer accepted by SEPTA--even though they're still usable on every other transit agency in the state. In all due honesty, if SEPTA is issuing senior cards with a picture on them, shouldn't they at least reciprocate in kind with the others? What happens if you need to use PART in Pottstown or BARTA in Berks County?
Of course they should, but we're in SEPTAWorld here. I'm willing to bet their "justification" for a proprietary card is a combination of "Oops, another thing we forgot about" and "Our farebeaters are special, not like the rest of the state. We need every passenger's picture, blood type, DNA sample, whatever. Capture Every Single Ride!!"

I posted on Rep. Ciresi's FB page, emphasizing the unequal-access aspects of SEPTA's rules. He at least expressed a willingness to take up the matter with 1234. Perhaps if a couple of other people add their take he would have more to work with than just one curmudgeon's grumbles.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by ChesterValley » Fri May 17, 2019 7:05 pm

They have started selling quick trips on regional rail, they have a small program right now at 30th street. It does account for Evening, and is only valid the day of purchase. They will not have any TVM's out at Bryn Mawr or Paoli, the logic being that the key is refillable online, thus no machine is needed.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JeffK » Fri May 17, 2019 8:38 pm

ChesterValley wrote:... They will not have any TVM's out at Bryn Mawr or Paoli, the logic being that the key is refillable online, thus no machine is needed.
My understanding is that there won't be TVMs at any outlying stations except the Airport. Ostensibly they're justifying the decision on the basis of cost and risk of vandalism*, somewhat like when they pulled the Big Orange Boxes many years ago** .

However the lack of TVMs means that occasional riders, visitors, or anyone else without a Key gets stuck with all the problems of the legacy system. I.e. they have to pay in cash plus fork over extra for the on-board surcharge. AFAIK there's still no ETA for accepting non-Key electronic payments, and at least as of the last hearing I attended even those will be subject to the %#@! surcharge. Then again, some back-of-the-envelope calculations indicate that the surcharge brings in at least $1.5 million in "found money" annually; 1234's given itself a strong incentive to keep those dollars flowing.

(*) Neglecting, of course, that other systems somehow manage to maintain TVMs against similar challenges.

(**) In any case the few B.O.B.'s that remained were done for when new currency designs came out in the early '90s. The boxes infamously had hardwired scanners that couldn't be upgraded.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Fri May 17, 2019 8:57 pm

The "BOBs" must been the 1985 Ascom machines (which had to modified for new $20 bills), officially retired as of January 27, 2007.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JeffK » Fri May 17, 2019 11:18 pm

IIRC SEPTA had picked the Ascoms because their hardwired scanners made them less expensive, and at the time of purchase the Treasury hadn't done a major bill redesign since the days of Bulldog Drummond and Paul Whiteman. In any case by the time the new 20s were released most outlying machines were already gone, at least on paper due to those reasons of maintenance and vandalism.

A number of BOBs lingered at Center City stations, presumably because they weren't as difficult to care for. Problem was, they could only be upgraded by physically replacing the scanners - not exactly cheap versus e.g. a software flash. Instead SEPTA went through a couple of half-@$$ed "solutions": First, they just put up signs telling people to only use old bills. After the old bills disappeared, they installed change machines next to the boxes. Passengers weren't exactly happy with getting a pile of quarters and dollars that then had to be fed into a BOB, and it wasn't much longer before all of them were gone.

FWIW I attended a hearing shortly after the new-bill problems surfaced. I'd come prepared with a buffalo nickel and Indian head penny, and asked the SEPTA suits if they were the next step in fare payment. They were distinctly unthrilled.
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by Head-end View » Sat May 18, 2019 6:41 pm

Re: susceptibility to vandalism, the Long Island Railroad has had TVM's for many years at most of its outlying/suburban stations and has not had any serious vandalism problem. And they actually seem to maintain them in good working order, so far. :-D

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

Post by MACTRAXX » Sun May 19, 2019 7:03 am

Jeff: The placement of the BOBs at outlying stations was interesting in how selective that it was.
In the timetable set(s) that I have centering on 1990 Station Information notes which stations
had TVMs by line. I will post them in the R number order in their respective timetables:

R1 Airport: Terminals B,C,D and E (one machine each at entrances to island platforms)
R2: Wilmington, Jenkintown*, Glenside*, Hatboro, Warminster.
R3: Elwyn, Media, Swarthmore, Morton, Gladstone, Forest Hills, Yardley.
R5 Paoli: All Stations Paoli through Overbrook (except Daylesford).
R5 Lansdale: Ambler, Gwynedd Valley, North Wales, Pennbrook, Lansdale.
R6: Main Street; Elm Street (Norristown).
R7: Trenton (four TVMs) and Croydon.
R8: Allen Lane, Upsal and Fox Chase.
*Listed under R2. Jenkintown is served by R2, R3, R5. Glenside R2 and R5.

H-E View: Yes - Long Island Rail Road TVMs have not had major problems with vandalism.
When there have been problems such as the skimmers found on machines a few years back
(to steal credit/debit card information) the MTA Police investigated and found the perpetrators.
Those responsible were from eastern Europe and were arrested and prosecuted. The LIRR and
MTA did not want commuters to lose confidence in purchasing transportation from TVMs.

Yes-TVMs can be useful - if the ridership justifies their placement and expense. But with this
there needs to be protection against any potential type of vandalism and theft. Riders may
shun TVMs if there are any significant problems with either...MACTRAXX
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by JeffK » Sun May 19, 2019 1:35 pm

Head-end View wrote:Re: susceptibility to vandalism, the Long Island Railroad has had TVM's for many years at most of its outlying/suburban stations and has not had any serious vandalism problem. And they actually seem to maintain them in good working order, so far. :-D
Ditto the last time I used Baltimore's light rail system, also MBTA's Worcester line (although both a few years back.

As for SEPTA: "But .. but ... but ... Philadelphia's vandals are so much more vanadaly than other cities' vandals." /snark
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Re: SEPTA NPT card will be "SEPTA Key"?

Post by R36 Combine Coach » Sun May 19, 2019 4:01 pm

MACTRAXX wrote:H-E View: Yes - Long Island Rail Road TVMs have not had major problems with vandalism.
Generally no, but NJT TVMs have been "defaced" or used as billboards at times (locals posting ads or flyers). The only example when TVMs are protected to deter vandals are Nostrand Avenue and East New York, where they are "caged".
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