SEPTA Plans Fee Hikes, Smart Cards, Public Hearings
Several changes are set to take effect July 1 of this year and July 1, 2014.
SEPTA is planning several large-scale changes to its transit operations, including a fare increase and the implementation of a smart-card payment system, that would take effect July 1.
The agency describes its plans on the SEPTA website. Some of the most noticeable effects would be as follows:
- The standard cash fare would increase from $2 to $2.25 on July 1, then be scheduled to increase again, to $2.50, on July 1, 2014. (The full schedule of fare increases across all platforms is attached to this article.)
- Tokens would cost 25 cents more as well, increasing from $1.55 to $1.80 on July 1. Tokens would then disappear a year later, replaced by what SEPTA calls Smart Media cards that would become its standard currency.
- Starting with the rollout of the Smart Media cards, photo IDs would be required for both disabled fares and free senior-citizen rides.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported SEPTA will conduct an internal 30-day test of the new fare system this summer, followed by another 30-day test in the fall that includes selected riders.
Five public hearing dates on SEPTA's planned changes are scheduled for mid-April:
- Monday, April 15 in Media at the Delaware County Court House, 201 W. Front St. Hearings will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 16 in Norristown at the Montgomery County Human Services Center, 1430 DeKalb Pike. Hearings will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 17 in Philadelphia at SEPTA headquarters, 1234 Market St. Hearings will take place at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Friday, April 19 in West Chester at Borough Hall, 401 E. Gay St. Hearings will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
- Monday, April 22 in Doylestown at the Bucks County Free Library, 150 S. Pine St. Hearings will take place at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Whether or not you plan to attend one (or more), please tell us in the comments section below what you think of the changes.