5th Square Statement on SEPTA Fare Restructuring Proposal

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


SEPTA’s Fare Restructuring Proposal Takes a Major Step Toward a Transit System That Works for All Riders

5th Square, Philadelphia’s urbanist advocacy group, praises SEPTA’s Fare Restructuring plan that includes one free transfer between subway, bus, and trolley routes — eliminating the $1 transfer penalty for most riders. This will undoubtedly benefit thousands of riders by enabling more affordable, equitable, and efficient journeys, as well as help boost SEPTA’s falling ridership.

This marks a huge step forward for the agency after three years of sustained advocacy from 5th Square, including a One City/One Fare petition that garnered over 1,500 signatures and support from City Council. 5th Square is also pleased to see the inclusion of a $1 fare for children ages 5-11, an equitable $2.50 base fare parity between SEPTA Key and cash users, and a new 3-Day Convenience Pass that will help bring new riders and visitors onto SEPTA.

“SEPTA’s fare restructuring proposal is a watershed moment that promises more affordable, equitable, and seamless journeys for thousands of riders,” said co-chair Dena Driscoll. “As the analysis from Econsult shows, free transfers can increase ridership, support job growth especially for lower-income workers, help families ride together on transit, and catalyze the bus network redesign.”

Free transfers and eliminating child fares for kids under 12 have been long-running advocacy priorities for 5th Square, and figured heavily in our candidate advocacy during recent elections. 

While these changes are significant, 5th Square will continue to push for the best possible fare policy for riders in the Philadelphia region in the coming weeks. This includes increasing the number of free transfers given on a journey to two or more, eliminating all fares and transfers for children 12 and under, and universal free student passes for all public school students 12 and above.