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 356 reactions

  • Steph Davis
    signed 2020-05-28 09:40:16 -0400
  • Lauren Martin
    signed 2020-05-28 09:29:47 -0400
  • Paul Blore
    signed 2020-05-28 09:28:17 -0400
  • David Wallace
    @Machodave_215 tweeted link to this page. 2020-05-27 16:23:11 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • David Wallace
    signed 2020-05-27 16:22:52 -0400
    My name is David Wallace. I am a Transit Fan, and love SEPTA. But we need to make our fare system more fair. First off, the SEPTA key system is shit, having to argue with drivers and customer service. Not right for convince. And second, it’s too forced. This ties to having to argue with the drivers and customer service.
  • Evan Siegel
    signed 2020-05-27 10:58:39 -0400
  • Aidan Doyle
    signed 2020-05-27 10:32:24 -0400
  • Matthew Goldberg
    signed 2020-05-26 22:32:41 -0400
  • Alex Baugh
    signed 2020-05-26 21:17:23 -0400
  • edward thorpe
    signed 2020-05-26 21:08:43 -0400
  • Sarah Davidson
    signed 2020-05-26 19:47:42 -0400
  • Joseph Celentano
    signed 2020-05-26 09:32:42 -0400
  • Daniel Paschall
    signed 2020-05-26 08:44:51 -0400
  • susan patrone
    signed 2020-05-26 07:38:06 -0400
    susan patrone
  • Gina Giaccardo
    signed 2020-05-25 15:33:25 -0400
    Gina M Giaccardo
  • Meghan Swyryn
    signed via 2020-05-25 15:22:20 -0400
  • John Duong
    signed 2020-05-25 13:06:25 -0400
    For the zone 1 transpass/trailpass, make it fare cap $27. For the fare capping I would say if you three fare caps or four. Daily, Three day (optional), Weekly, Monthly. If rider spends 9.00 of rides in one day the rest of the day is free, if rider spends $26.50 in a week rest of the week is free, rider spends $99 in a whole month rest of the month is free. Hence why I say free transfer limit is at 90 minutes. I do support the ideas on this!
  • Joe Cox
    @Joecoxactivist tweeted link to this page. 2020-05-25 12:43:38 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • Joe Cox
    signed 2020-05-25 12:42:44 -0400
  • Daniel McGlone
    signed 2020-05-25 11:30:07 -0400
  • Pete DeCarolis
    @SpatulaPete tweeted link to this page. 2020-05-25 10:28:03 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • Pete DeCarolis
    signed via 2020-05-25 10:27:16 -0400
  • Jon Geeting
    signed via 2020-05-25 10:20:09 -0400
  • Dena Driscoll
    @bikemamadelphia tweeted link to this page. 2020-05-25 10:07:08 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • Dena Driscoll
    signed 2020-05-25 10:06:58 -0400
  • Frank Wilkinson
    signed 2020-05-25 10:04:22 -0400
  • James Gitto
    @JGitto tweeted link to this page. 2020-05-25 09:24:02 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • James Gitto
    signed 2020-05-25 09:23:53 -0400
  • Lauren Galanter
    signed 2020-05-25 08:16:28 -0400
  • Don Leedy
    signed 2020-05-25 08:03:11 -0400