2020 Fair Fares Platform - Press Release

Friday, April 3, 2020


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

5th Square is presenting our 2020 Fair Fares Platform (PDF Version).  

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 determined 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, these next steps will be critical to restoring ridership while providing much needed cost relief to its most financially-burdened riders.

5th Square co-chair, Dena Driscoll said: "SEPTA has a proposal that moves the ball forward on equity, we think they should go further on a plan that provides more benefits to low-income riders and will help restore ridership after the coronavirus crisis."

City Councilmember Jamie Gauthier has joined our call: “The COVID-19 crisis is sending shockwaves through our city - and as a result, it's going to be more important than ever for our transit system to prioritize equity and protect our low-income residents. I encourage SEPTA to consider these proposals as it sorts out the extent of its budget shortfall after the passage of the CARES Act.”

“Fair Fares” Recommendations:

  1. Eliminate the Transfer Penalty
  2. Implement Fare Capping
  3. Provide Free Rides for Children
  4. Accept TransPass on Zone 1 Rail

Recognizing the requirement for social distancing, we are also asking SEPTA 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.