SEPTA’s new budget reduces some fares to lure riders back

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The SEPTA board approved a new budget on Thursday that holds the line on most fares and reduces a few.

“Across the board, SEPTA fares are not going to increase. And, we are even introducing a couple new discounts,” said SEPTA spokesperson Andrew Busch.

SEPTA’s operating budget for fiscal year 2023 reduces the price of a one-day convenience pass from $9 to $6. The three-day pass goes from $18 to $15. A Regional Rail trip from the airport to destinations outside Center City decreases from $9.25 to $6.50, and the Travel Wallet fare between any Zone 1 Regional Rail station and Center City drops from $4 to $3.75.

The base transit fare remains $2 with a SEPTA Key card, with one free transfer.

Busch said the discounts are part of an effort to entice commuters to ride SEPTA again. A priority for the transit agency in this coming year is getting more fare-paying riders back onto the system.

“We’re right now at about 52% of our pre-COVID ridership, so that’s about 520,000 passenger trips per day, compared to approximately 1 million before the pandemic,” he said.

Currently, federal COVID-19 relief money is propping up SEPTA’s $1.6 billion operating budget. Busch said SEPTA can’t rely on that support after next year.

“We have to build those ridership numbers up in order for us to be sustainable once those funds run out,” he added.

The discounts would take effect at the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2023.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Rachel Kurland