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Old 08-25-2013, 09:38 AM
 
2,394 posts, read 3,051,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
Every subway stop in the MTA has functioning machines where you can purchase fares, so I can't even remember the last time I asked an attendant to give me change.
I was a regular user of all the BSS stops between City Hall and Pattison and of the El stops between 2nd and 40th and all of them had a token machine and/or a cashiers booth that sold tokens and passes.

Tasker/Morris had two token machines - one that would take singles and the other that was large bills only.

Weren't tokens just phased out in advance of the new smart card roll out? Wouldn't that be why the token machines were gone?

The only reason SEPTA still has anyone in the booths is to accept paper transfers and for general station supervision. Yeah, while they're at it they take cash fares too but you could just as easily drop 8 quarters in the turnstile. Paper transfers are going away and the booth attendants are going away with them so I'm not sure what people are all up in arms about.

If you want to get upset about something worry about how they're discouraging discretionary riders with their punitive fare system.
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I was a regular user of all the BSS stops between City Hall and Pattison and of the El stops between 2nd and 40th and all of them had a token machine and/or a cashiers booth that sold tokens and passes.

Tasker/Morris had two token machines - one that would take singles and the other that was large bills only.

Weren't tokens just phased out in advance of the new smart card roll out? Wouldn't that be why the token machines were gone?

The only reason SEPTA still has anyone in the booths is to accept paper transfers and for general station supervision. Yeah, while they're at it they take cash fares too but you could just as easily drop 8 quarters in the turnstile. Paper transfers are going away and the booth attendants are going away with them so I'm not sure what people are all up in arms about.

If you want to get upset about something worry about how they're discouraging discretionary riders with their punitive fare system.
Do I seem upset? I just answered your question (most explicitly in the part of my reply you did not quote).
The one thing I criticized earlier in the thread is exactly the thing that you just mentioned.

The disappearance of the ticket machines happened a long time ago. Not a recent occurrance.
With the the token machines it seemed a bit more like they just gave up on maintenance, like how they started putting laundromat change machines in some stations instead of replacing or repairing the token machines to reliably take bills (again, a bit backwards).
In any case, the pattern of inconveniencing non-regular users, to 'raise fares without raising fares', seems consistent.
Why is someone even mentioning difficulty buying tokens or getting change from booths (and this is not an uncommon SEPTA complaint) if there were adequate functional token vending machines?

As I said before, I think SEPTA is a very good system by US standards. But I don't think it's productive to ignore or defend its obvious faults.
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Old 08-25-2013, 06:33 PM
 
Location: Boston Metrowest (via the Philly area)
4,745 posts, read 7,845,060 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post

As I said before, I think SEPTA is a very good system by US standards. But I don't think it's productive to ignore or defend its obvious faults.
You're exactly right -- and I'm sure we could dedicate an entire thread towards SEPTA's obvious faults. However, that conversation tends to get very misdirected. From an operational standpoint, I think the agency does remarkably well for the financial support it receives.

For all the gripes that everyone has about the lack of electronic fare cards/use of tokens, decrepit/abysmally outdated subway stations, and very lacking signage, it all comes down to one thing -- money.

Thankfully, SEPTA is rolling out its New Payment Technology (NPT) system-wide starting this fall and will finish by the end of 2014 -- so we can all say a very welcomed goodbye to tokens very soon. Still, for major capital improvement projects, including station modernization and system expansion, SEPTA is basically stuck without dramatically increased source of public revenue. You can thank the myopic and senseless legislators in Harrisburg for that, not Joseph Casey.

The best thing anyone can do for SEPTA right now is to direct their complaints to their local representative.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:45 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
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For the record: I have absolutely no issue with tokens.
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:43 AM
 
2,394 posts, read 3,051,801 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
Do I seem upset? I just answered your question (most explicitly in the part of my reply you did not quote).
No. I'm far from a SEPTA cheerleader and have been calling out their faults on here for years and customer service is a main theme - I just don't see the point in critiquing something that's over. Everyone knows the tokens are gone, the booths are gone and the smartcards are in.

Let's move on to the next big issue.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:00 AM
 
4,263 posts, read 10,024,086 times
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Signs and maps should be pretty cheap compared to other things they do.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,663,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
No. I'm far from a SEPTA cheerleader and have been calling out their faults on here for years and customer service is a main theme - I just don't see the point in critiquing something that's over. Everyone knows the tokens are gone, the booths are gone and the smartcards are in.

Let's move on to the next big issue.
Fine. Here's a "big" issue that remains. The fellow rider with the massive derrière who sits next to you, making unwelcome hip to hip contact, and squishing over into your space. That's not going away.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:42 AM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
No. I'm far from a SEPTA cheerleader and have been calling out their faults on here for years and customer service is a main theme - I just don't see the point in critiquing something that's over. Everyone knows the tokens are gone, the booths are gone and the smartcards are in.

Let's move on to the next big issue.
OK cool. But if that is the case, then you can probably see why your other two posts were confusing to me. Since one of them was seemingly to draw an equivalence btw SEPTA's and the MTA's service level at stations, and the other one was seemingly to state that token availablity at stations was not really a problem. Both of those would be highly questionable statements, as noted.

The big issue on this particular thread isn't really how to fix SEPTA. That's a doozy.
But rather it's about how some visitors are faring with the city's transit and wayfinding options, relative to other cities.

I think that we are on the same page in that SEPTA's (historical and current) punishing of non-regular riders is a counterproductive approach to building ridership. And I hope that this isn't something that ultimately continues once the new fare system is in place. Because I don't actually think the tokens themselves are/were a problem at all.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, PA
1,567 posts, read 2,663,137 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotodome View Post
OK cool. But if that is the case, then you can probably see why your other two posts were confusing to me. Since one of them was seemingly to draw an equivalence btw SEPTA's and the MTA's service level at stations, and the other one was seemingly to state that token availablity at stations was not really a problem. Both of those would be highly questionable statements, as noted.

The big issue on this particular thread isn't really how to fix SEPTA. That's a doozy.
But rather it's about how some visitors are faring with the city's transit and wayfinding options, relative to other cities.

I think that we are on the same page in that SEPTA's (historical and current) punishing of non-regular riders is a counterproductive approach to building ridership. And I hope that this isn't something that ultimately continues once the new fare system is in place. Because I don't actually think the tokens themselves are/were a problem at all.
What some may look at as punishing non-regular riders, others may look at as rewarding loyal customers. I'm in sales, and my regular customers get better rates than my one-timers. I will also bend over backwards to keep them happy - pretty much anything that's not illegal I'll do for them.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:43 PM
 
Location: back in Philadelphia!
3,260 posts, read 4,877,400 times
Reputation: 2051
Quote:
Originally Posted by mancat100 View Post
What some may look at as punishing non-regular riders, others may look at as rewarding loyal customers. I'm in sales, and my regular customers get better rates than my one-timers. I will also bend over backwards to keep them happy - pretty much anything that's not illegal I'll do for them.
Sure, that's one way to look at it (though would you say that SEPTA does a lot of bending over backwards to make its regular riders happy?).

But to extend your analogy in the current context: If, after first-time buying somethng from you, someone went and made a thread in which they remarked about penalty charges and the difficulty of working with you relative to other salespeople from whom they'd also bought things, it seems appropriate that someone might chime in to make note of your history of questionable business tactics.

I'm not sure why this is so controversial.
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