Sign on to Support our 2020 Fair Fares Platform

SEPTA’s Fare Restructuring Plan needs to go further to create a true “Fair Fares” system that suits riders of all incomes and ages.

We need to prioritize equity and fairness for the future success of our region’s transit system. These priorities would improve the existing customer experience and reposition transit as a viable option for many new riders - especially families, children, and current car commuters.

SEPTA’s Fare Restructuring Plan represents an important first step towards a more affordable, equitable, and efficient transit system. The agency’s plan is prudently based on an equity analysis which found the proposal will reduce costs, on net, for riders living in communities with incomes below the city median; shifting costs to higher income residents.

Given the current coronavirus pandemic and the lasting impact this will have on our region, SEPTA, and its riders, we present our 2020 Fair Fare Platform. These next steps will be critical to restoring ridership while providing much needed cost relief to its most financially-burdened riders.


1. ELIMINATE THE TRANSFER PENALTY. SEPTA has proposed one free transfer within 90 minutes of initial tap. This is a bold step towards improving equity and ensuring the system works for riders in all corners of our city. We want SEPTA to provide an unlimited number of free transfers within two hours from the first tap. Free transfers benefit low-income riders who tend to make transfers as part of their commute. It enables system efficiency and shorter travel times for many. Free transfers are also necessary ahead of a bus network redesign and enjoy the broad support of Philadelphia city government.2. IMPLEMENT FARE CAPPING. In a “Fair Fares” platform, a low-income rider should not pay more than a higher income rider for the same service. But that is frequently the case when it comes to passes. Low-income riders often can't pay the upfront cost of a pass and can pay more in single fares over the time period as a result. We want SEPTA to implement Fare Capping. Fare capping allows riders to pay for the cost of a pass over time. When riders have paid enough in single fares equal to a pass, the rest of their rides for that period are free. SEPTA Key would "cap" their fares so Travel Wallet riders never pay more than pass riders. This is central to the principle of equal service for equal payment.

3. PROVIDE FREE RIDES FOR CHILDREN. SEPTA proposed cutting fares to $1 for children 5 - 11. This fare must be paid in cash separately and isn’t eligible for the free transfer. We want SEPTA to eliminate fares for children 12 and under. This would encourage more family ridership and make transit an affordable option for parents. Eliminating youth fares would greatly simplify its implementation. Riders and SEPTA employees would not have to risk handling cash. Additionally, this step would reward ridership and spare the costs associated with collecting the extra cash. Free youth fares are an important part of instilling transit habits in the next generation, and should be viewed as part of a pipeline from free youth fares to expanded student passes and then finally universal university passes.4. ACCEPT TRANSPASS ON ZONE 1 RAIL. Zone 1 of the Regional Rail Network includes many of Philadelphia’s most underprivileged and transit-reliant neighborhoods. Yet this zone suffers from poor ridership, mainly because regional rail is much more expensive. Zone 1 is also served by cheaper, more frequent, albeit slower transit. We want SEPTA to accept weekly and monthly TransPasses for travel on Zone 1 Regional Rail—with the intention of eventually matching the cost for single rides. This would be a tremendous move toward making SEPTA a unified network, integrating these two disparate systems.

Recognizing the requirement for social distancing, SEPTA needs to provide alternatives to in-person public hearings. It is critical that SEPTA hear from a proportional sample of riders—from all demographics.

A concerted public outreach effort through multiple channels—focus groups, electronic polling, phone and mail surveys, for example—would ensure more voices are heard, and more people can submit feedback on their own time.

We are calling on SEPTA to:

  • Adopt our "Fair Fares" Recommendations.

  • Broaden public outreach ahead of its hearings for their Fare Restructuring Plan.

Sign today to show your support!

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Showing 365 reactions

  • Bridget Chadwick
    signed 2021-10-20 15:44:48 -0400
  • Christopher Waxman
    signed 2021-01-14 16:48:10 -0500
    Bring back the Chestnut Hill West
  • Mike Bishop
    signed 2021-01-12 00:23:00 -0500
  • Rick Smith
    signed 2021-01-11 13:47:57 -0500
  • Carl Gershenson
    signed 2021-01-05 16:21:44 -0500
  • Natalie L. Gorvine
    signed 2020-10-19 14:32:18 -0400
  • Andres Greene
    signed 2020-10-17 04:44:08 -0400
    Capping fares at the cost of a weekly TransPass and TrailPasses is a great idea.
  • Isaiah White
    signed 2020-10-05 20:48:26 -0400
  • Julia Albertson
    signed 2020-09-29 11:46:57 -0400
  • Nancy Lo
    signed 2020-06-29 18:11:38 -0400
    Nancy Lo
  • Alison Miner
    signed 2020-06-04 16:40:21 -0400
    Affordable public transit is an essential part of a healthy city!
  • Merrily Williams
    signed 2020-06-01 11:53:59 -0400
  • Brendan Stone
    signed 2020-05-30 20:48:51 -0400
  • Megan Boyle
    signed 2020-05-30 16:32:38 -0400
  • Margie Politzer
    signed 2020-05-30 11:14:14 -0400
  • Jeffrey Friedman
    signed 2020-05-29 22:13:13 -0400
  • Christina Chimi
    signed 2020-05-29 16:37:20 -0400
    Christina Chimi
  • Ann O'Rourke
    signed 2020-05-29 15:58:59 -0400
  • Nicholas Mulligan
    signed 2020-05-29 13:59:32 -0400
  • Kelly Duignan
    signed 2020-05-29 13:30:25 -0400
  • Stephen Metzger
    signed 2020-05-29 12:21:29 -0400
  • Lauren Summers
    signed 2020-05-29 12:17:49 -0400
  • Amanda Gillern
    signed 2020-05-29 12:08:04 -0400
    Amanda Gillern
  • Michael Benko
    signed 2020-05-29 11:47:07 -0400
  • Kim Jordan
    signed 2020-05-29 11:29:51 -0400
    Make transit more equitable by getting rid of transfer fees and allowing children under 12 to ride FOR FREE.
  • Jennifer Dougherty
    @jenkbarr tweeted link to this page. 2020-05-29 11:25:34 -0400
    5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • Dan Gasiewski
    signed 2020-05-29 11:19:59 -0400
  • Garrett Hincken
    signed 2020-05-29 11:18:04 -0400
  • Charles Balducci
    signed 2020-05-29 10:56:40 -0400
    Charles Balducci
  • Sarah Banh
    signed 2020-05-29 10:51:48 -0400