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

  • Florence Buckley
    signed 2020-04-21 09:26:50 -0400
  • Jessica Jones
    signed 2020-04-21 09:23:53 -0400
  • Karen Lefkovitz
    signed 2020-04-21 09:13:32 -0400
    All these changes makes sense because the burden of these fares fall largely on the poorest. I’m particularly calling attention to children’s fares. Children do not work, they are not allowed to work, nor should they. These fares seem specifically punitive to low income families. If we cherish children, we need to support families to raise them well. Removing the fare would be one small step in saying we have a social responsibility to all children.
  • David Golden
    signed 2020-04-21 09:11:02 -0400
    David Golden
  • Brian
    signed 2020-04-21 08:52:29 -0400
  • Theresa Everline
    signed 2020-04-21 08:44:09 -0400
  • Dorothy Mejia-Smith
    signed 2020-04-21 08:34:50 -0400
  • Nick Manai
    signed 2020-04-21 08:22:58 -0400
  • Roger Jack
    signed 2020-04-21 08:15:03 -0400
    Roger Jack
  • Leigh Goldenberg
    signed 2020-04-21 08:03:25 -0400
  • Kieran Francke
    signed 2020-04-20 22:00:31 -0400
    I was a commuter student to Temple U. I payed over $800 for a semester full of train rides buses and trolleys. They were unlimited as i could go anywhere but still way to expensive
  • Kyle Osborne
    signed 2020-04-20 20:45:09 -0400
    Kyle Osborne
  • Christopher Mulroy
    signed 2020-04-20 18:31:13 -0400
  • Cody McCone
    signed 2020-04-20 17:24:51 -0400
  • Paul Gorman
    signed 2020-04-20 14:20:39 -0400
  • Kandyce Perry
    signed 2020-04-20 12:53:30 -0400
  • Randy Thomas
    signed 2020-04-20 12:28:39 -0400
  • Lauren Vidas
    signed 2020-04-20 12:06:18 -0400
  • Michael Warhola
    signed 2020-04-20 11:45:44 -0400
  • Kara Nelson
    @BellyofFate tweeted link to this page. 2020-04-20 11:30:39 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • Kara Nelson
    signed 2020-04-20 11:30:19 -0400
    Kara Nelson
  • Mary Jo Harris
    signed 2020-04-20 11:17:11 -0400
  • Christian Pilling
    signed 2020-04-20 11:11:39 -0400
  • Mark Morley
    signed 2020-04-20 11:09:17 -0400
    Fully support these proposals as a daily rider (pre-covid at least).
  • Joe Caronetti
    signed 2020-04-20 10:58:44 -0400
    joseph caronetti
  • Bradley Flamm
    signed 2020-04-20 10:58:21 -0400
  • Aaron Bauman
    signed 2020-04-20 10:56:21 -0400
  • Jeff Carpenter
    signed 2020-04-20 10:55:22 -0400
  • russian bot🌹✊
    @jacobtmarder tweeted link to this page. 2020-04-20 10:54:01 -0400
    Sign on to Support 5th Square's 2020 Fair Fares Platform
  • Jacob Marder
    signed via 2020-04-20 10:53:44 -0400