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Old 06-20-2016, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,880,905 times
Reputation: 970

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "won't be getting" re Septa Key? Isn't it supposed to support smartphone payments, etc., eventually?
The fare structure for SEPTA is zany for a whole host of reasons. They are programming their zany fare structure into the SEPTA key rather than taking the opportunity to fix the structure.

Some of the zaniness that I deal with on a regular basis:

A regional rail trip from Trenton to Center City costs more money than a regional rail trip From Trenton to ANYWHERE going THROUGH Center City. That's right, next time you're coming back from Trenton just tell them you're going somewhere on the other side of the commuter rail tunnel for a nice discount. My conductors on the CHE used to joke about this constantly (the Chestnut Hill East line being the line that most often lines up with Trenton).

Extension of journey trips cost 4 dollars regardless of how far you're extending your journey. So back when I had a zone one and wanted to take the train "all the way" to Tulpehocken instead of Chelten Avenue it would cost 4 dollars (it's about a 3 block walk, and the conductor on multiple occasions refused the fare because of how silly it is). Yet that same 4 dollars plus a zone 1 pass would get me from Chelten Avenue all the way to Trenton, NJ, an hour train ride away, on the CHE.

The Independence Pass is 12 dollars, yet if you're taking the regional rail and pay cash on board, the least you can pay for a round trip is 12 dollars on a weekday. So a round trip on one line costs the same as unlimited trips on any line in-state.

A family independence pass costs more than a spot in a parking garage downtown, even though weekend trains usually run 2 cars (or less) at still well under capacity.

If you live in Germantown and want to go to Broad and Oregon (or anywhere in South Philly near Broad Street), you can take the 23 and transfer. If you transfer to the 45 bus, it's a free transfer. Even through it's terribly inefficient. If you transfer to the Broad Street Line, it costs an extra dollar - even through it's a much quicker trip, a more efficient way for SEPTA to move people, and operates well under capacity.

I'm sure there are plenty of other scenarios for people who use the system differently.

Since my wife no longer has a monthly pass I've really come head on with how little sense this system makes - which is why we almost always just stick within NW Philly on our days off now.

I sometimes think of the person in charge of the fare structure as the Dostoevsky's Underground Man, simply trying to prove to everyone the uselessness of logic.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:53 PM
 
5,348 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3610
Quote:
Originally Posted by FamousBlueRaincoat View Post
The fare structure for SEPTA is zany for a whole host of reasons. They are programming their zany fare structure into the SEPTA key rather than taking the opportunity to fix the structure.

Some of the zaniness that I deal with on a regular basis:

A regional rail trip from Trenton to Center City costs more money than a regional rail trip From Trenton to ANYWHERE going THROUGH Center City. That's right, next time you're coming back from Trenton just tell them you're going somewhere on the other side of the commuter rail tunnel for a nice discount. My conductors on the CHE used to joke about this constantly (the Chestnut Hill East line being the line that most often lines up with Trenton).

Extension of journey trips cost 4 dollars regardless of how far you're extending your journey. So back when I had a zone one and wanted to take the train "all the way" to Tulpehocken instead of Chelten Avenue it would cost 4 dollars (it's about a 3 block walk, and the conductor on multiple occasions refused the fare because of how silly it is). Yet that same 4 dollars plus a zone 1 pass would get me from Chelten Avenue all the way to Trenton, NJ, an hour train ride away, on the CHE.

The Independence Pass is 12 dollars, yet if you're taking the regional rail and pay cash on board, the least you can pay for a round trip is 12 dollars on a weekday. So a round trip on one line costs the same as unlimited trips on any line in-state.

A family independence pass costs more than a spot in a parking garage downtown, even though weekend trains usually run 2 cars (or less) at still well under capacity.

If you live in Germantown and want to go to Broad and Oregon (or anywhere in South Philly near Broad Street), you can take the 23 and transfer. If you transfer to the 45 bus, it's a free transfer. Even through it's terribly inefficient. If you transfer to the Broad Street Line, it costs an extra dollar - even through it's a much quicker trip, a more efficient way for SEPTA to move people, and operates well under capacity.

I'm sure there are plenty of other scenarios for people who use the system differently.

Since my wife no longer has a monthly pass I've really come head on with how little sense this system makes - which is why we almost always just stick within NW Philly on our days off now.

I sometimes think of the person in charge of the fare structure as the Dostoevsky's Underground Man, simply trying to prove to everyone the uselessness of logic.
Thanks for typing this up FBRC. You spoke to exactly what I was referring to. The existing fare structure requires true leadership to fix, and I have to imagine that it's unlikely to not change given that they're now programming it into the new payment system.
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Old 06-20-2016, 07:54 PM
 
5,348 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3610
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyb01 View Post
Can you explain what you mean by "won't be getting" re Septa Key? Isn't it supposed to support smartphone payments, etc., eventually?
As FBRC explained, fare structure determines the cost for each trip. Very different than forms of payment.
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Old 06-21-2016, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Midwest
1,283 posts, read 1,880,905 times
Reputation: 970
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
As FBRC explained, fare structure determines the cost for each trip. Very different than forms of payment.
Oh, I got another GREAT one. I used to use the CHE to visit a relative near 49th Street Station on Media Elwynn in West Philly back when the CHE and ELW matched up on weekends.

My wife, a non-pass holder, would have to pay 9 dollars to travel "via center city". Just staying on the same train we were already on straight through an extra 5 minutes (or less) would cost a total of 9 dollars. Or 18 dollars round trip. One train train, round trip, 18 dollars. Cash on board or buying ticket in advance. Meaning the Independence Pass at 12 dollars made the most sense.

Yet if we would have got off at 30th street station and transferred to the 34 trolley it would either be simply a 3.75 one way (or 5 dollars if bought cash on board train) plus 1.80 token. For as little as 5.55 as long as you GOT OFF the mode of transit you were already on and got on a NEW MODE. 11.10 round trip.

Versus 18 round trip on the regional rail - or 12 if you were bright enough to buy the independence pass (unlimited trips for 50% less than a single line round trip).

Zany.
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Old 06-21-2016, 08:54 PM
 
Location: Germantown, Philadelphia
6,209 posts, read 3,048,381 times
Reputation: 3932
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Outside of expansions, lots of great updates/upgrades on their way:

1. GPS on all rolling stock with real-time updates on monitors in the stations that show when the next train will arrive.
2. Electric buses (to be tested out soon).
3. Increased accessibility in stations; elevators, escalators, etc.
4. Updated city hall station
5. Updated 15th street station
6. Updated concourse under construction between city hall and Walnut station
7. Reopened/Updated concourse access between 30th street station and the MFL

What we won't be getting, but need: An updated fare structure. If it was going to happen this generation, it would have happened with the roll-out of the Key. Maybe I'm wrong...
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
Thanks for typing this up FBRC. You spoke to exactly what I was referring to. The existing fare structure requires true leadership to fix, and I have to imagine that it's unlikely to not change given that they're now programming it into the new payment system.
With the exception of the 23/45 free transfer - a transfer made necessary only by SEPTA's splitting the old Route 23 in two, which is why they made it free - all the gripes here relate to Regional Rail, and I agree, what you describe is crazy.

The basic problem is that Regional Rail fares - just like the current nomenclature that jettisons the R-numbers (don't get me started on THAT again) - assume everyone's starting or ending their trip in Center City, something the Commuter Tunnel eliminated, yet the Regional Rail fare structure in effect charges you for a trip into Center City plus a trip from Center City out, as though you got off at the Reading Terminal and walked over to Suburban. (This is also what pissed me off about the abandoning of the R-numbers as well: they're acting as if the Commuter Tunnel were never built.)

Personally, I would argue that SEPTA should move to a pure distance-based zone fare structure for Regional Rail, where fares are charged based on the total number of zones you pass through from start to end. Thus, a trip from a Zone 5 station on one side of the Commuter Tunnel to a Zone 1 station beyond it would be six zones (counting the Center City zone as fare-free in line with current policy), not five plus a steep surcharge. Even if you added a zone charge for passing through the Center City zone, it would still be cheaper.

And since it's going to be at least a year before SEPTA Key gets implemented on Regional Rail, it should be possible for SEPTA to revamp that part of its fare structure.

My beef is with the implementation of ride caps for the calendar-based passes, which turn them into multi-day versions of the One-Day Convenience Pass, which buys you eight trips total, one of which may be on Regional Rail (that feature isn't being carried over to the TransPasses). IMO a weekly pass should allow you all the trips you care to take for seven days, and a monthly pass the same for 30 or 31 (28 or 29, depending on the leap year, in February). If there are going to be trip caps, I suggest that the passes be turned into non-time specific bulk-purchase discounts that are good until you've reached the number of trips you've bought. If it takes you two months to use up your 240 trips, so be it; you reload once you've used up the 240. If it takes you two weeks to do so, same thing.

Maybe once the old fare media are retired, SEPTA might revisit this issue.
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Old 06-21-2016, 09:24 PM
 
7,842 posts, read 14,707,294 times
Reputation: 5518
Real time arrival times is a must.

Also, hey everybody. Just moved here for summer. Completely in love with the city and planning on making this move permanent ASAP so getting to really know the city well. I'm living on the border of Pennsport and QV. While I don't mind taking buses since it's easier than parking in most parts of the city and the 57 comes quite often during rush hour compared to what I'm used to in even cities like SF, a rail line would help a lot. Would it be possible for the city build a light rail line or something similar along Washington and Columbus?

I have to say though, I'm quite impressed with SEPTA. I've heard it being disparaged all over this thread and by random other people I've encountered. Yeah, the subways in NYC are more extensive and the L in Chicago is impressive also. But for an American transit system, SEPTA is amazing. The 57 is the bus I take during the morning rush hour. If I remember correctly, the 38 bus on SFMUNI came less than that and it's the most used bus line in the city. I commute to Trenton and being able to use the SEPTA pass to get all the way to NJ is amazing. I can use the same pass to take the bus to the MFL to the regional rail line. Not sure how the systems in NYC work, but I know in SF, you pay for MUNI, Caltrain, and BART all separately. In LA, passes exist that are good are any transit system county-wide, but let's be real...SEPTA is way better. I even spoke to a person through the grapevine of the family/friends who used to live in my area and he was telling me that the public transit sucks and I should invest in a bike. All this talk of SEPTA not being great had me worried, but it's honestly worked better than I ever imagined. A common theme I've personally noticed with people disliking SEPTA is that they either came from NYC or have only used the NYC subway and no other transit system before. Idk if this is a general consensus, but it's what I've noticed.

Tl;dr: SEPTA is a great system by US standards, idk why people hate on it, Philly is lucky it doesn't deal with SFMUNI.
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Old 06-22-2016, 04:48 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJNEOA View Post
As FBRC explained, fare structure determines the cost for each trip. Very different than forms of payment.
I don't ride regional rail very often so I had no idea it was that crazy wrt transfers. Right now, riding as a senior, means I can avoid this stuff.
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Old 06-22-2016, 07:43 AM
 
5,348 posts, read 5,570,613 times
Reputation: 3610
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarketStEl View Post
With the exception of the 23/45 free transfer - a transfer made necessary only by SEPTA's splitting the old Route 23 in two, which is why they made it free - all the gripes here relate to Regional Rail, and I agree, what you describe is crazy.

The basic problem is that Regional Rail fares - just like the current nomenclature that jettisons the R-numbers (don't get me started on THAT again) - assume everyone's starting or ending their trip in Center City, something the Commuter Tunnel eliminated, yet the Regional Rail fare structure in effect charges you for a trip into Center City plus a trip from Center City out, as though you got off at the Reading Terminal and walked over to Suburban. (This is also what pissed me off about the abandoning of the R-numbers as well: they're acting as if the Commuter Tunnel were never built.)

Personally, I would argue that SEPTA should move to a pure distance-based zone fare structure for Regional Rail, where fares are charged based on the total number of zones you pass through from start to end. Thus, a trip from a Zone 5 station on one side of the Commuter Tunnel to a Zone 1 station beyond it would be six zones (counting the Center City zone as fare-free in line with current policy), not five plus a steep surcharge. Even if you added a zone charge for passing through the Center City zone, it would still be cheaper.

And since it's going to be at least a year before SEPTA Key gets implemented on Regional Rail, it should be possible for SEPTA to revamp that part of its fare structure.

My beef is with the implementation of ride caps for the calendar-based passes, which turn them into multi-day versions of the One-Day Convenience Pass, which buys you eight trips total, one of which may be on Regional Rail (that feature isn't being carried over to the TransPasses). IMO a weekly pass should allow you all the trips you care to take for seven days, and a monthly pass the same for 30 or 31 (28 or 29, depending on the leap year, in February). If there are going to be trip caps, I suggest that the passes be turned into non-time specific bulk-purchase discounts that are good until you've reached the number of trips you've bought. If it takes you two months to use up your 240 trips, so be it; you reload once you've used up the 240. If it takes you two weeks to do so, same thing.

Maybe once the old fare media are retired, SEPTA might revisit this issue.
Completely agree. The ride cap is BS. A "monthly pass" should be the defined by its timeframe. Why else would we call it a monthly pass? And I also agree on abandoning the R-numbers. SEPTA's fare structure is still in place for 1940.
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:08 AM
 
10,265 posts, read 5,931,280 times
Reputation: 3628
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessemh431 View Post
Real time arrival times is a must.

Also, hey everybody. Just moved here for summer. Completely in love with the city and planning on making this move permanent ASAP so getting to really know the city well. I'm living on the border of Pennsport and QV. While I don't mind taking buses since it's easier than parking in most parts of the city and the 57 comes quite often during rush hour compared to what I'm used to in even cities like SF, a rail line would help a lot. Would it be possible for the city build a light rail line or something similar along Washington and Columbus?

I have to say though, I'm quite impressed with SEPTA. I've heard it being disparaged all over this thread and by random other people I've encountered.

Answer to first question: there are LONG standing capital projects, to fix and update, the existing city transit infrastructure that will push back anything like creating brand new additions to the system. One of those projects is completely rehabbing the Broad St Line's City Hall Station and its connection/interchange with
the Market Frankford Line's 15th St Station. That project alone is a few years away from completion.

I kinda laughed at the fact that some people think Septa sucks. Some of that comes from what locals call "Negadelphianism". That is they will twist some experience they had in/with the city to condemn the entire city or an enterprise like Septa. And some of that attitude can be based on bogus assumptions.

I no longer drive so I'm dependent on Septa. And when I did drive I still used pub trans a lot. The parts of Septa that I use do exactly what I want when I want. I also use the MTA in NYC a fair amount and I've had much worse experiences using it than Septa but I would never say the MTA sucks.
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Old 06-22-2016, 11:14 AM
Lou
 
499 posts, read 180,195 times
Reputation: 799
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpomp View Post
The Media-Elwyn Line expanding out to the West Chester area, and the Norristown Line expanding to King of Prussia may happen over the next decade.
I'd like to see a SEPTA station in West Chester, as long as it isn't in a place that causes major traffic congestion.

Exton Station is undergoing a long overdue renovation. It looks like it'll be nice.
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