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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA board approves operating budget, fare restructuring plan

In an effort to compensate for a projected $32 million shortfall in Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’s budget — while still responding to needs of area school children and senior citizens — SEPTA’s board June 21 approved its fiscal-year 2002 operating budget and a modified Fare Restructuring Plan.

"We have maintained fares at current levels for the past six years and now we must strengthen our revenue flow in order to meet the rising costs of power sources, such as diesel fuel and electricity, health care, and paratransit and shared ride services," said Chairman Pasquale Deon Sr. in a prepared statement.

The fare restructuring plan includes a 5 percent discount for tokens and passes elementary and secondary schools, and school districts purchase in bulk. The plan requires participating schools and school districts to match a discount of at least 5 percent, passing the savings on to the students.

Transit fares overall will increase an average of 11.5 percent; tickets and TrailPass prices on the Regional Rail Division will rise 13 percent on average. As of July 1, Paratransit Shared Ride services’ cash fare will increase from $2.85 to $3.25; group cost, $2.40 to $2.90; Paratransit-ADA, $2.50 to $3.

A second-phase fare increase for Paratransit services will become effective April 1, 2002, at which time cash fares will rise to $3.50; group fares, $3.20 and Paratransit-ADA, $3.50.

The fare changes for passes will go into effect Aug. 1, along with fall schedule changes planned for September and October.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/22/2001