SEPTA fare changes go into effect Monday

June 30, 2013 9:12:20 AM PDT
On Monday, a scheduled price hike takes effect for SEPTA riders.

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 SEPTA promises to use that additional money to implement new technology, replacing the current outdated mode involving tokens, tickets and paper transfers with smart-card technology.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:

  • Cash trips on buses, subways and trolleys will go from $2.00 to $2.25. Sometime next year, that price will go up another quarter;
  • Single trip tokens will cost $1.80;
  • On Regional Rail lines fare zones will be consolidated with the elimination of Zone 5, and Gender stickers will be gone;
  • Freezing CCT Paratransit fares at the current level of $4, rather than an increase to $4.50;
  • Lowering increases to weekly and monthly TransPasses, which will go from $22 to $24, and $83 to $91, respectively;
  • Raising ride limits on weekly and monthly passes to 56 and 240, respectively;
  • Continuing to accept TransPasses on the Airport Regional Rail Line to accommodate Philadelphia International Airport employees until the NPT system is in place on Regional Rail;
  • Charging the standard base fare on portions of bus routes 124 and 125 that provide local service between Gulph Mills and Chesterbrook, and inbound from the Wissahickon Transportation Center.

    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 We do transit checks at work, already have it withdrawn from our payroll," explained Fran Stevenson of Abington Township.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.

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    Information from the Associated Press was used in this article.


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