The suspect, 29-year-old Christopher Vinson, of the 1200 block of Calcon Drive in Darby Township, was arrested shortly after the incident.
It was shortly after midnight when police were called to the stopped 102A SEPTA trolley at Woodlawn and MacDade Boulevard in Collingdale for a report of a stabbing.
Officers were told the suspect was last seen fleeing on MacDade Boulevard toward Darby wearing a gray shirt and leopard skin pants.
The trolley driver, who was bleeding from the face, told officers that the same passenger, later identified as Vinson, always takes the trolley to Sharon Hill without paying.
So, the trolley driver told police, he finally confronted Vinson, who began yelling. The driver said Vinson then stabbed him in the face with a knife, leaving a puncture wound above his nose and eye.
The driver was then taken to the hospital for treatment as numerous officers canvassed the area for the suspect.
During the search, officers saw a man fitting the description run down MacDade Boulevard. Police caught up with him in the DCIU School parking lot and took him in to custody.
Vinson was arrested and charged with Simple Assault, Aggravated Assault, Possession Instrument of Crime, and Reckless Endangering another Person, Harassment and Theft of Services.
Overall, attacks on SEPTA operators have been increasing. They've climbed from 53 attacks by this point last year to 60 so far in 2012. Some cities have put their operators behind plastic screens or armed them with pepper spray or other non-lethal weapons. SEPTA is installing video cameras on buses and training operators about how to deal with threatening situations.
Vinson's bail was set at $100,000. Court officials say even if he is able to come up with enough money to be released, he will not be permitted to ride on any SEPTA vehicle or enter any SEPTA facility.