March 17, 2017

SEPTA proposes fare increases across the board, effective in July

Transit authority skipped increases last year

SEPTA riders can expect to pay more come July 1, regardless of how they get around.

The transit authority has proposed raising fares across all modes of public transportation. The increases encompass the buses, trolleys, subways and trains operating both in Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs.

SEPTA tokens and single rides purchased through the Key Card will increase to $2, a 20-cent bump. Cash fares and Quick Trip purchases will jump to $2.50, a 25-cent bump. Transit transfers will remain unchanged at $1.

Regional Rail riders also will see their fares rise. And parking at Regional Rail train stations also will cost more.

Weekly TransPasses will cost $25.50, a $1.50 increase, while monthly TransPasses will jump to $96, a $5 increase. Weekly and monthly TrailPasses, which cost various amounts depending on travel zones, will increase by similar rates. A weekly Zone 3 trailpass, for example, will rise from $44 to $47, and the monthly version from $163 to $174, about a 6.8 percent hike.

Pre-paid single trips and on-board purchases on Regional Rail trains will see increases of varying amounts. Exact rate increases for these transit options — and others — can be viewed here.

The fare increases must be approved by the SEPTA board, which also must pass an operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018. If approved, the rates would go into effect on July 1.

The proposed fare increases keep SEPTA in line with recommendations issued by the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission, which calls for periodic fare adjustments. Under these recommendations, SEPTA has raised rates in 2007, 2010 and 2013.

Last year, the transit authority delayed a scheduled fare increase as it rolled out the SEPTA Key, a new digital payment system that allows riders to purchase single rides and weekly and monthly passes.

PATCO, which operates trains that travel to and from South Jersey, is not raising its rates.

SEPTA will hold public hearings regarding the proposed fare increases beginning on April 19. Two hearings will be held in each of the five counties that comprise SEPTA's service region.

The meeting schedule follows:

 Delaware County: Wednesday, April 19 at Delaware County Court House, County Council Room, 201 West Front St., Media. Sessions begin at 2 and 6 p.m.

Bucks County: Thursday, April 20 at the Bucks County Free Library, Pearl Buck Room, 150 S. Pine St., Doylestown. Sessions begin at 2 and 6 p.m.

 Chester County: Friday, April 21 at West Chester Borough Hall, Council Chambers, 401 E. Gay St., West Chester. Sessions begin at 2 and 6 p.m.

 Philadelphia: Monday, April 24 at SEPTA Headquarters, Board Room, 1234 Market St., Philadelphia. Sessions begin at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 Montgomery County: Tuesday, April 25 at Montgomery County Human Services Center, Community Room, 1430 DeKalb St., Norristown. Sessions begin at 2 and 6 p.m.