SEPTA shares proposed fare restructuring plan

A SEPTA subway station.
MELISSA MITMAN

On Wednesday, SEPTA announced a new Fare Restructuring Plan.

The plan was created to help ease the cost of travel for families, offer one free transfer, and also introduces a new three-day pass. There will also be no change to base cash fee or the discounted rate for riders with disabilities, according to a release.

The proposal is designed to benefit lower-income communities and promote efficiency. The new plan hopes to improve ridership.

The proposal was analyzed by Econsult Solutions Inc. Their analysis shows that shifting from a current one-seat commute means customers can transfer and cut their travel costs and their travel times.

5th Square, Philadelphia’s urbanist advocacy group is in support of the new plan.

5th Square co-chair, Dena Driscoll said in a release that, “SEPTA’s fare restructuring proposal is a watershed moment that promises more affordable, equitable, and seamless journeys for thousands of riders.”

Driscoll added, “As the analysis from Econsult shows, free transfers can increase ridership, support job growth especially for lower-income workers, help families ride together on transit, and catalyze the bus network redesign.”

In a release, SEPTA reports that every three years, SEPTA makes fare adjustments. If this proposed plan is approved, it will go into effect on July 1.

The full Fare Restructuring Plan will be shared on March 20 on SEPTA’s website. March 20 marks the start of the public comment period. SEPTA will host ten public hearings, starting on April 20, about the new plan.

“The Fare Restructuring Plan represents a significant step forward in our effort to improve equity, affordability, and ease-of-travel for our customers. It also ensures that SEPTA will be able to raise the revenue necessary to maintain current service levels across the system,” SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards said in a release.

Richards added, “I look forward to a productive public dialogue about this proposal as we move forward.”

Here are are the basics of what you need to know about the new plan, according to a release.

Reduction in Child Fares:

  • Fare for up to 3 kids between ages, 5 to 11, traveling with a fare-paying adult will cost $1 for all SEPTA services
  • This represents a 60 percent saving on transit for children
  • Up to 3 children under the age of 5, traveling with a paying adult will continue to ride for free

New Three-Day Convenience Pass 

  • The new pass will cost $18
  • The pass will be good for up to 72-hours after the original tap
  • SEPTA thinks this pass will benefit those who ride transit five-days a week.
  • SEPTA also believes this would be useful for out of town visitors and folks attending conventions in the city

No Increase in Cash Fare

  • Case fare for transit will stay at $2.50
  • This went into effect on July 1, 2017
  • The base fare is equivalent to a Travel Wallet fare

Free Transfer Using the Travel Wallet on SEPTA Key

  • The base fare would increase from $2 to $2.50
  • SEPTA is offering customers one free transfer, and this accommodates a majority of customers who use the Travel Wallet
  • Additional transfers will cost $1

Fares for Disabled Riders

  • There will be no changes to the base fare for disabled costumers and the fare will remain $1.25.
  • It will include one free transfer
  • Fares for CCT Paratransit/Shared Ride will stay at $4.25

Modest Increases to Weekly and Monthly Passes

  • Weekly TransPasses for buses, subways, and trolleys will increase by $1
  • The monthly TransPass will be increased by $3
  • TrailPasses for monthly and weekly tickets on the regional rail will increase by about 6 percent

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