On Friday morning SEPTA riders coming through Center City sounded off over the upcoming fare hikes.
"I'm a city employee," said Mount Airy resident Annette Parker. "We haven't had a raise in four years. It's just tighter."
Lamar Gussom of West Philadelphia tells us, "It's really going to be hard for everybody. Some people out here living check to check, some people live in fixed income... I think it's really going to be a big mess."
SEPTA says this is the first fare increase in three years. Its board approved the changes in May, which are expected to bring in $25 million in additional revenue for the agency. SEPTA promises to use that additional money to implement new technology, replacing the current outdated mode involving tokens, tickets and paper transfers with smart-card technology.
Richard Burnfield, SEPTA chief financial officer, explained back in March that among the benefits of smart-card technology: no more waiting in line to buy passes and tokens, and easier replacement of lost or stolen passes that are registered with SEPTA.
The changes to fares include:
While the hikes aren't exactly welcome to many, some say it's just the reality.
"It's not that bad. They're only going up a few bucks. We do transit checks at work, already have it withdrawn from our payroll," explained Fran Stevenson of Abington Township.
SEPTA says many of these changes will begin to establish the foundation of their New Payment Technologies Program - part of the effort to simplify fares and introduce the open fare payment and collection system.
Suzanna Witt of Old City says, "I'm obviously not happy about it. On the other hand, it may actually benefit me in the long run."
For more information on fare changes, visit http://www.septa.org/fares/new/index.html.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.