The SEPTA board on Thursday approved a series of fare hikes that will take effect on July 1 while postponing a vote on its proposed $1.3 billion fiscal year 2014 operating budget.
The imminent fare hikes and other changes are slightly less severe in many cases than originally proposed. SEPTA was heavily criticized by customers during a series of public hearings held this spring in each of the five counties it serves.
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Fares for buses, trains and trolleys will go from $2 to $2.25 on July 1, as originally proposed, then to $2.50 when SEPTA implements its new payment technology in mid-2014. It marks the first fare hike for these transit services since 2001.
The SEPTA board opted to keep Customized Community Transportation, or CCT Paratransit for senior and disabled riders, fares at $4 instead of going forward with a proposal to increase the cost to $4.50. Also, weekly and monthly TransPass fares will go from $22 and $83, respectively, to $24 and $91 instead of $24.50 and $92 as originally proposed.
The board also voted to increase weekly and monthly ride limits for pass users to 56 and 240, respectively.
The SEPTA board will wait to hear from Harrisburg on its aid request before moving forward with its 2014 budget. SEPTA says it is facing a $38 million shortfall with its $1.3 billion operating budget proposal.
SEPTA plans to keep its capital budget at $300 million for a fourth consecutive year.