SEPTA to raise fees July 1, upgrade fare system by 2014

SEPTASEPTA fares will go up starting July 1, and a new smart card system, if approved, will be fully implemented by 2014, company officials announced Thursday.

This is the first fare increase since 2010.

Fares will go up again in July 2014 when SEPTA installs its new $200 million smart-card system, also known as the New Payment Technology system. NPT will completely replace SEPTA’s current transportation currency.

Under the new system, vending machines will dot bus and subway stations and will sell refillable, SEPTA-branded cards. The cards will replace weekly and monthly transit passes, tokens and paper transfers.

Riders, under the new system, can pay their fare just by tapping a smartphone or smart-chip embedded credit or debit card on a turnstile equipped with an electronic reader. The fare will be withdrawn from a bank or other account. The machines will start popping up as soon as this summer for testing.

Regional Rail entrances will include subway-style gates in Center City stations.

Regional Rail fare Zones will change starting on July 1. Zone 5 would be eliminated, with most stations moving to an expanded Zone 4. Zone 1 will also be adjusted to include Eastwick, North Broad Street and North Philadelphia stations.

The fare hikes are expected to generate about $25 million. SEPTA officials said the company is seeking state assistance to help fill the estimated $38 million hole in its $1.4 billion operating budget.

Facts

For seniors, state-issued ID cards are required for $1 train and free bus and subway rides.

Paper transfers will be phased out. Riders who pay cash will have to pay full fare for each trip.

Gender stickers will be eliminated from passes.

By the Numbers

When paying cash bus, subway or trolley fare will rise from $2 to $2.25. In 2014, when the new system is put in place, the fare will rise again to $2.50.

Weekly bus and subway transpasses will jump from $22 to $24.50.

Monthly transpasses will jump from $83 to $92. These prices will not change when the new system is implemented.

Monthly Zone 1 trail pass will jump from $91 to $101.

Monthly Zone 3 trail pass will jump from $155 to $163.

Monthly Zone 2 trail pass will jump from $127 to $135.

Monthly Zone 4 trail pass will jump from $176 to $191.

Token costs jump from $1.55 to $1.80. Tokens will be eliminated after the new system, which will operate on all public transit lines, is installed in 2014.



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