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June 04, 2024

SEPTA to end free parking at Regional Rail lots after 4-year suspension of fees

The transit authority said it will charge $2 per day to park and have new technology to process the payments.

Transportation SEPTA
SEPTA parking paid Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Parking fees for Regional Rail lots were suspended in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lots are expected to charge commuters $2 per day when fees resume.

Commuters of SEPTA Regional Rail services have been enjoying free parking at station lots for more than four years, but the transit authority confirmed Tuesday that it is planning to resume charging soon.

SEPTA halted parking fees in March 2020 due to COVID-19 and extended that policy to rebuild ridership numbers that had faltered during the pandemic. SEPTA spokesperson said the fees will return in the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1, and that the authority expects to set the price at $2 per day, an increase from the $1 per day charge before the pandemic.

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Previously, commuters paid for parking by depositing quarters in boxes that corresponded with their parking spot number. Spokesperson Andrew Busch said SEPTA is "working on having a new technology in place to process payments," and that it is currently evaluating proposals from venders.  

Busch said a timeline for the rollout, and the projected revenue from it, are expected in the next month or so.

SEPTA has recently faced financial struggles that it said could force it to cut services and increase fares. The authority put forward a $2.6 billion budget for fiscal 2025 that is dependent on a proposal from Gov. Josh Shapiro to provide $282 million toward public transit in Pennsylvania, with $161 million specifically for SEPTA.

According to SEPTA, ridership for Regional Rail services has recovered to about 64% of pre-pandemic numbers as of April 2024.