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deltavim t1_itlu5cl wrote

This is the problem right here with SEPTA:

To Jared Cohen, the problem is that SEPTA has insisted on building everything on its own in-house app instead of interfacing with third-party apps people are already using, such as Transit App, Google Maps, and Apple Maps.

They need to stop reinventing the wheel - with Key, with mobile ticketing, with NFC payments, etc. Use what is already there!


AbsentEmpire t1_itm3yfi wrote

Not only do they feel the need to reinvent the wheel, they end up blowing more money than it would have cost to just by an off the shelf system, and what they come up with is a worse alternative that cost way to much and took way to long to implement.


Aromat_Junkie t1_itptv0p wrote


Don't forget the billions spent on government website by big 4 contract agencies.


nayrb1523 t1_itn1ioq wrote

>That’s because SEPTA required Conduent, the contractor that built the system, to fix initial problems and to maintain and keep the system up-to-date, which includes adapting to new technology like mobile ticketing.

This is the reason. What incentive is there for this outsourcing firm to want to do anything else but building their own? 3rd party integration won't bring the mid/long term maintenance rev so wy on earth would they?

It's fucking stupid but it's the usual game and we, the paying riders (and tax payers) lose each time.


mexheavymetal t1_itlluso wrote

I swear that SEPTA takes the most unqualified people and puts them in charge. What makes it worse is that they’re unable to make the easiest things happen.


Trafficsigntruther t1_itlp8ps wrote

They complicated the shit out of it with mobile tickets and QR codes. Apple Express Transit is built for instant payments.


Proper-Code7794 t1_itlosf3 wrote

They have one of the best safety records for rail operations in the entire country


atheken t1_itncr5m wrote

I guess I prefer that over an easier to use payment system, but it'd be nice if we could have both.


Proper-Code7794 t1_itork8u wrote

I'd like to add fuck apple and anyone who demands that cell phone users bend to Cupertino's will.


atheken t1_itpat8k wrote

You are barking up the wrong tree.


persolb t1_itmjvuo wrote

ConnDOT got mobile payments working, with integration to both Amtrak and Metro-North, in less than a year. SEPTA needs to just outsource stuff like this.


MoreShenanigans t1_itlumn8 wrote

Why would they go with a separate app over doing an Apple/Google Pay integration... that makes no sense


[deleted] t1_itmf26m wrote

Maybe they want to be able to track users’ information and sell it for revenue? Maybe I’m being too pessimistic, but that was my automatic guess.


atheken t1_itnczq5 wrote

I think you're being a bit pessimistic. The app does appear to handle transfers, which is something that I don't think would work with a straight up "tap to pay", as much as I wish I could just do that.


zpepsin t1_itodgbc wrote

Google/Apple pay doesn't need to handle transfers. It just needs to tell the reader what SEPTA key account is being scanned.


atheken t1_itpb2zn wrote

Yes, I understand that, if you have a septa key in the wallet. But being able to pay without an account/app is what we were talking about. The system could do both.


TrustThe_CPA_Process t1_itp8a18 wrote

It would. London has tap to pay and it’s seamless. Just tap every time you enter/exit and they calculate your trips and bill you at the end of the day. It’s great.


MeEvilBob t1_itscus4 wrote

Somebody's brother in law's company got a sweet contract handed to them.


tet3 t1_itmrous wrote

Paying at the turnstile/bus door with NFC payment apps would be a nightmare. Takes way too long to authorize.

Paying by those methods from within their app means that Google/Apple takes a stupid-high share of the revenue.


MoreShenanigans t1_itn2r10 wrote

Have you used a system with Apple and Google pay? Take a NYC trip, they have it and it's faster than a key card.


electric_ranger t1_itn4hdo wrote

This is not true. I have taken busses in NYC with just Apple Pay and it’s about as quick as getting my key card, with the added bonus of just being my phone


mmmagic1216 t1_itma026 wrote

WHY have a mobile option that isn’t linked to the Septa Key?! How does this make ANY sense?!!


courageous_liquid t1_itntuqo wrote

I think the idea is that it serves two separate usergroups - tourists can use this system and not have to physically get a septa key. That gets them access to bus, trolley, and subway, and if they need to get on the RR they can use cash/card on the train or buy single-trip tickets at a kiosk.


LP788 t1_itnxwgp wrote

That may be right. But if SEPTA’s goal is to get ridership back to or close to pre-pandemic levels, its priority needs to be to make the system more friendly for the commuter.


courageous_liquid t1_itogkz0 wrote

Commuters should already know how a septa key works and now that it works on regional rail, it's never been easier.

Service is almost back to where it was - not quite, yet, but getting better.


courageous_liquid t1_itlpezt wrote

I'm on the beta and it seems to work fine for me - as mentioned, it's slightly annoying funds can't come from the travel wallet or a pass, but the functionality seems to work.

I agree that this seems more useful for occasional riders who I guess won't remember to bring their septa key (?) as the physical key works really well at this point.


estellato12 t1_itmgpri wrote

Yeah the way it works is kinda pointless.

If I could scan my key to pay, why can’t I just scan a QR for it to work as well? I have the beta and for someone that takes MFL daily it just is a hassle.

A lot more extra steps to scan than just using my keycard. And since it’s a beta I can’t count on it to work so I bring my loaded keycard anyways but then newsflash can’t use those funds to get through with the app so now I’m just dumping more money in.


courageous_liquid t1_itmh8li wrote

Yeah, at this point I'm willing to just provide some data and it seems like the people this workflow is ideal for can use it and I'll just be using my key.

I don't really even care about mobile payment at all and hate the idea of my phone being a single source of failure, but some people apparently are super into it so I figure I'll just beta test since I'm on a few modes of SEPTA a day.


Virtualdrama t1_itolrqt wrote

Former Philadelphian here. (Coming home for a visit soon and just thrilled to have to figure out a new Septa pass system.) Atlanta has same issue with their new pay app. It doesn't integrate with their monthly fare card. Only works for single tickets -- meaning tourists. My guess is they can't integrate it with legacy readers and or previous poster's suggestion that the contractor wants to control the app.


estellato12 t1_itpp845 wrote

Makes sense. Just pointless to not allow money to be taken from your keycard for these tickets.

Also you can only use the app at the handicap entrances as of now since they are the only ones that could read it, which can be an inconvenience, and crowd an entrance that should be kept clear.


21chucks t1_itmqf1v wrote

From the very beginning (pre septa key), integration with apple and google pay should have been the goal. This QR code deal also seems like a huge waste of time, money, and effort if the subsequent goal is still (the looong overdue) tap to pay integration with phones and credit cards.


LP788 t1_itnyhvb wrote

For the love of god SEPTA, just allow us to purchase a digital key and add it to our phone. I have an iPhone so it’s the Wallet app.

This makes no sense. Why take something that should just be one step and complicate it?


PrimaryFun2207 t1_itoomye wrote

Oh it’s worse. (As of now) full price for ticket, No discounts or bundle deals. You can’t use the septa travel wallet money for the tickets. The scanners take longer to read the code, plus positioning the phone in the right place, and having brightness turned up…. Lines and more delays. But at least the new app integrates all the things onto one - no longer need to go to it’s now in the app


cheviot t1_itnltx1 wrote

Useless. Give me a NFC SeptaKey app for my phone.


Proper-Code7794 t1_itlp0g4 wrote

So paying with a credit card and you cell phone is working but using your septa key doesn't.... sounds like we just get rid of something.


RexxAppeal t1_itlpeg8 wrote

I knew they'd start focusing on tourist features once key was barely functional for daily commuters.


Electronic_Chard_270 t1_itmeq7o wrote

In what way is Key ‘barely functional’? Mine always works wonderfully


RexxAppeal t1_itmm41k wrote

The cards don't last, the regional rail mode was rushed out during the pandemic, and there's been no visible progress on e-wallet support.

Instead they're focused on this stupid qr code app that's going to cause chaos at the fare ox because it's slow and kludgy.


Electronic_Chard_270 t1_itmmn4r wrote

What do you mean the cards don’t last? As in they expire? They last for several years. Barely functional is a bit hyperbolic sir and you seem to simply be looking for reasons to be negative


RexxAppeal t1_itmoan0 wrote

I'm on my 5th card. 1 expired, 3 just randomly stopped working. I've also had multiple problems with auto load not working and regional rail tap outs starting new trips.

By barely functional, they reached a minimum level of working. If you've been lucky with card failure and the widespread reader issues on buses and at rail stops it might not seem that bad.


Electronic_Chard_270 t1_itmoxws wrote

That sounds like it’s on you. I’ve had 2 cards, only because 1 expired. I have never had one stop working, neither has my wife, and we use Septa daily. I am mainly a bus/BSL rider, but can’t say I have seen many issues with the card reading system. Please tell me where the ‘widespread’ reader issues are happening.


RunnyBabbit23 t1_itn4jd8 wrote

My card randomly stopped working. I would go over to the window after tapping didn’t work and they would just wave me through. So I got a few months of free Septa before it started working again. I don’t know what the issue was but I didn’t complain.


courageous_liquid t1_itnte14 wrote

I've gone through about 5 as well. When they get funky and stop reading accurately I just grab a new one and move the funds over, which takes about 10 seconds on the app or

I think the batch from like 2ish years ago were pretty shitty.


hethuisje t1_itpvlfh wrote

Mine also randomly stopped working recently. There is no way to transfer its balance to my new card other than going to 1234 Market! Ugh.


Electronic_Chard_270 t1_itq77bo wrote

Not true. If you register the card at, you can transfer it


hethuisje t1_itq8ubn wrote

I don't see any way to do it and when I asked SEPTA_SOCIAL on twitter, they told me I had to go to the ticket counter at that location.


tet3 t1_itmqvwg wrote

I & my kids have also had card failures. I have been waved onto many Hs, 18s and 23s because the card scanner was down. Didn't delay me, but lost revenue from Travel Wallet riders for SEPTA.


thebruns t1_itnbw98 wrote

Try and start your trip for a suburban regional rail system without having previously been given a Key.

Good luck.


courageous_liquid t1_itntfry wrote

...You can pay with cards or cash on the train. No luck needed.


thebruns t1_itnuvr8 wrote

Except you want the freedom pass since you will be making multiple trips. Now what?


courageous_liquid t1_itpyjlw wrote

Then your lack of preparation makes you pay full fare and reminds you to get a key when you arrive in CC. Depending on how many trips it might not even matter.

Also just FYI freedom pass no longer exists. It's now called "One Day Anywhere FleX Pass" under the "Independence Pass" umbrella, at least on the app.


thebruns t1_itq59i7 wrote

> Then your lack of preparation

How do you prepare? Its literally not available for sale at the stations.


courageous_liquid t1_itq8sfc wrote

You know what a freedom pass is but you haven't been in center city since june 2016?


thebruns t1_itq9rt1 wrote

My dude I visited a friend in the burbs just this summer and since they didnt already have Keys, getting them into the city was a problem. You cannot buy a key at the station. A key is required to have the pass.


rjack1201 t1_itmbg5l wrote

All the integration issues will be resolved in about 5 years.


215illmatic t1_itqji3y wrote

So when this is all said and done I can't just open my Apple Wallet and tap my phone on the gate like everywhere else in the developed world?


PrimaryFun2207 t1_iu4267c wrote

Oh lord no, why would Philly do anything everywhere else does? Silly you.