We at 5th Square are thrilled to see SEPTA’s Budget, Planning, and Information Technology Committee recommend changes to their fare restructuring plan that move substantially in the direction of our Fair Fares advocacy platform. We thank all the volunteers who made calls, gave testimony before SEPTA, and spoke about these issues with their elected officials.
Thursday’s recommendations come after the authority heard feedback during operating budget and fare restructuring hearings held last month. Transit advocates were vocal in the process.
Members of the advocacy group 5th Square had recommended SEPTA get rid of the transfer penalty, begin fare capping, have children ride for free, and accept TransPass on Zone 1 Regional Rail. Transit Forward Philadelphia, an advocacy coalition, shared similar ideas.
We couldn’t be happier with the outright adoption of one of the Fair Fares recommendations, which would provide children under 12 with free rides—down from the $1 cash-only proposal in SEPTA’s initial restructuring plan. This will be a huge step forward in making SEPTA more affordable for families and cultivating the next generation of transit riders. The proposal to allow one free transfer, usable within a 2-hour window, is another major advance that shows SEPTA is listening, and taking seriously the need to invest in rider convenience to win back transit riders as travel picks up again.
While we would have liked to see the SEPTA Board Committee go even further in the direction of full adoption of our Fair Fares platform, the fare restructuring, especially with these new changes, is a great starting point. We look forward to working with SEPTA and continuing our advocacy for a fairer fare system that supports growing ridership.
Our Transit advocacy volunteers will continue working on additional critical initiatives over the coming year: the upcoming bus network redesign, trolley modernization, regional rail reform, and the imminent state funding crisis. We need your help to make a difference there too.
Join 5th Square today as a member, and sign up to get involved with our Transit Committee to keep the momentum going. You can also support our work by making a donation.