SEPTA’s operating budget for fiscal 2011 is projected to total $1.18 billion. Some of the major factors contributing to the budget figure include an 8 percent increase in medical benefit costs, a projected 10 percent hike in electric rates after caps expire in January 2011, an 8 percent increase in claims costs, and a reduction in fare revenue, reflecting lower ridership in the current recession.
The budget also implements the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission’s recommendation that Pennsylvania transit agencies schedule regular fare increases. SEPTA’s last fare hike came in August 2007; since then, consumer and producer prices have increased roughly 6 percent. SEPTA’s fare hike proposal hews close to that figure, averaging roughly 7 percent across all modes. Here are the division-by-division highlights:
Surface and Rapid Transit
The base cash fare will remain unchanged at $2.
Prices for tokens and weekly and monthly city TransPasses will rise by approximately the amount of inflation. Tokens, currently $1.45 (minimum purchase of 2 required), will rise to $1.55; weekly TransPasses, from $20.75 to $22; and mo sunthly TransPasses, from $78 to $83.
The monthly suburban Cross-County Pass, good for travel on surface transit outside the city of Philadelphia, will cost 7 percent more – $103 vs. $96.
The One Day Convenience Pass, good for up to eight trips in a day, will go up almost 17 percent, from $6 to $7.
Transfers jump 33 percent, from 75 cents to $1; suburban zone surcharges will hold steady at 50 cents. The net cost of a two-vehicle ride with a transfer will be 9 percent higher for riders paying cash and 16 percent higher for those using tokens.
Regional Rail fares will go up 6.5 to 7.5 percent on average, but changes in peak
hour policy will mean some riders may pay a good deal more. (Sandy Smith photo)
On average, individual Regional Rail ticket prices will rise 6.5 percent next year, while weekly and monthly TrailPasses will rise 7.5 percent. Changes in zones and fare periods, however, will result in steeper hikes for some riders.
The biggest change is the extension of peak fares to all trains originating between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. weekdays, including all midday and reverse-peak trains. The move reflects shifts in regional commuting patterns that have produced increases in reverse-commute traffic on Regional Rail. Off-peak fares will apply from 7 p.m. to end of service weekdays and all day weekends.
In addition, the number of Regional Rail fare zones will shrink from six to five during peak times and from four to three off-peak.
Tourist and Other Fares
Prices for SEPTA’s one-day unlimited-ride Independence Passes will rise 10 percent for individual passes, from $10 to $11, and 12 percent for family passes, from $25 to $28. Independence Passes will remain valid on all Regional Rail trains arriving in Center City after 9 a.m. weekdays and on all weekend trains.
The two-zone monthly Intermediate Pass for Regional Rail will go from $69 to $75, an 8.7 percent increase.
For more info: Read the other articles in this series
SEPTA’s 2011 budget braces for life after Act 44
SEPTA’s fiscal 2011 capital budget proposes unkind cuts
Where to make your voice heard on the budget proposal
Why everything is riding on I-80 – and why there is no Plan B