Days after SEPTA announced a major rollout in its Key payment system and five months after a crippling strike, the transit organization has some news: They want to charge more money for their service.
Rides on the Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line, buses and trolleys will go from $1.80 to $2.00. Single-ride tickets you pay for in cash or at the vending stations will increase from $2.25 to $2.50. Regional Rail rides are going up by 50 cents or 25 cents per trip, depending on the length of the trip, and TrailPasses and TransPasses will also increase in cost.
The changes, pending board approval, would go into effect July 1. SEPTA is hosting five community meetings at which you can vent about the fare increases.
The transit company is announcing the change about five months after bus drivers and subway operators went on a strike for a week and less than a year after last summer’s Regional Rail crisis, when SEPTA lost a third of its fleet. SEPTA saw losses of ridership of 15 percent during the Regional Rail problems.
SEPTA had originally planned for a fare increase in 2017 but delayed it. It last increased prices in 2014.
So what’s the best way for you to avoid the proposed increase in prices? Stock up on tokens.
Yes, that advice sounds weird given SEPTA finally finished rolling out the Travel Wallet program of the Key this week, and you no longer need to use a token in your life.
But the tokens that will continue to cost $1.80 until this fare increase takes effect will still be eligible for use after July 1. The Key doesn’t track purchases by rides, but by money. So $20 on your Key card now would get you 11 rides. After the fares go up, the same $20 on your Key is good for only 10 rides.
Those tokens we hated for so long are now precious currency.