One thing is for sure for SEPTA: Fare hike

PHILADELPHIA. In a year of plenty of uncertainty, there’s one thing SEPTA riders can count on: higher fares

The increase is expected to take effect July 1 at the start of the next fiscal year. SEPTA officials are not tipping their hand on how much fares will go up, but estimates range between 2 and 10 percent.

That means base fares could go from $2.00 to $2.25, tokens from $1.45 to $1.60 and weekly TransPasses from the current $20.75 to $22.75.

“We’ve only started to look at the 2011 budget,” said Chief Financial Officer Richard Burnfield. “Mid to late March is when we make our budget presentations” including proposed fares.

SEPTA is also facing questions regarding state funding that threatens to cut its capital budget virtually in half.

“Regardless of how it breaks out from budget to budget, if Act 44 is not properly funded it’s very, very bad news for the system,” said Matt Mitchell of Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, a rider advocacy group. “It’s keeping the system from going back into the downward spiral.”

The Federal Transit Administration must approve plans to toll Interstate 80 in order to keep the money flowing into its coffers.

On the positive side, SEPTA riders could also get a glimpse of the long-awaited new payment technology and new Silverliner V cars on the Regional Rail.

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