This update was sent to Transit Forward Philadelphia (TFP) supporters via our newsletter. Want to sign up and receive these updates? Get involved!

Coalition Wide Virtual Meeting on SEPTA's Fare Hearings


Join us for a coalition wide virtual meeting on Thursday, May 14th at 3:00pm to discuss SEPTA’s upcoming virtual public fare hearings on May 26th & 27th. We will discuss our Goals and Recommendations for their Fare Restructuring Plan, how individuals can provide comment and public input at the hearings, and most importantly why riders need to show up and tell SEPTA to revise and improve their plan. 

Participants must register for our coalition wide virtual meeting online. For those without internet access, please call Yasha Z. at 949-874-8745 and you can be manually registered and provided with information on how to call into the meeting.  

Our Proposal for SEPTA's FY2021 Fare Restructuring Plan


Transit Forward Philadelphia is pleased to announce our Proposal of Recommendations for SEPTA’s FY2021 Fare Restructuring Plan.  

As a member-led coalition of Philadelphia based riders and organizations, we are urging SEPTA to adopt the following recommendations in order to implement a fair and equitable fare system for riders.

We need support from organizations and riders like you to strengthen the case for fair fares and push SEPTA to go further with their fare plan 

Sign On To Our Letter to SEPTA

Our Recommendations

  • Allow SEPTA riders to transfer for free, as many times as they need, within a two-hour window

As one of the poorest large cities in America, low-income riders stand to benefit the most from unlimited free transfers. Low-income workers depend on multiple transfers to get to far reaching jobs and end up accruing additional costs in transfers that further penalizes them for utilizing the network as a whole. Unlimited free transfers would make the fare structure easier to understand and benefit communities who are hardest hit by inequity.

  • Implement a fare capping system within SEPTA Key that rewards passengers for frequent use of the system

Currently, SEPTA’s low-income riders are forced to pay for trips by the ride and end up paying more for transit because they cannot afford the upfront costs of a TransPass. Fare structures that give discounts to riders who can afford the upfront costs of a pass end up creating barriers to entry for transit-dependent low-income riders. The cost burden of fares should not fall on low-income riders and implementing a fare capping system would relieve riders of the burden of upfront costs of TransPasses.

  • Allow children under 12 to ride SEPTA for free

The current proposal to allow children ages 5-11 to travel for $1 will cause a great deal of confusion and inconvenience for both operators and families. Streamlining the on-boarding process and allowing kids under twelve to ride for free, will create an efficient, affordable, and competitive transportation option for families. The cashiers and bus operators who work hard to keep the system running would be responsible for additional steps that are added to the on-boarding process which will slow down SEPTA buses and cause greater delays, all at the expense of the rider.

By adopting these recommendations, SEPTA has the opportunity to prioritize the needs of riders and protect communities hardest hit by inequity. This is especially important as the region and it’s residents come out of the turbulent COVID-19 pandemic. SEPTA will need to rebuild its ridership numbers and regain the trust of passengers after the pandemic has slowed down.

Sign our letter to strengthen the case for more affordable fares

Information About the Upcoming Fare Hearings


SEPTA will be hosting four virtual public hearings on May 26th at 11:00 am & 6:00 pm and May 27th at 10:00 am & 4:00 pm regarding their FY2021 Fare Restructuring Plan. SEPTA will be using WebEx to conduct these hearings. Further information on how individuals can register to attend via WebEx will be posted on For now SEPTA has provided the following information on how to provide comment on the fare hearings.

Public Participation Options:

  • Individuals wishing to speak during the hearings must pre-register for a time slot at Pre-registered individuals will be announced at their scheduled times to speak.
  • Persons desiring to provide oral comments about the operating budget or fare restructuring proposal may call 215-580-7772 and submit comments via voicemail message.
  • Written comments can also be sent via email to [email protected].
  • Persons wishing to file written comments may also mail them to the Director, Operating Budgets, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 1234 Market St., 9th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

To be included in the public record, comments must be received by May 31, 2020

Once SEPTA publicly releases this information check your email you on how to register for the hearings 

Changes to SEPTA's Fare System


SEPTA hired Econsult Solutions Inc. to analyze the equity impacts of the Fare Restructuring Plan and below is a summary of proposed changes to widely used fare payment methods:

No Increase in Cash Fare:
Cash fare for Transit will remain $2.50

Base Fare for SEPTA Key Users Increases:
Fares for SEPTA Key users will increase from $2.00 to $2.50

Free Transfer for SEPTA Key Users Only:
SEPTA is offering SEPTA Key users ONE free transfer. Additional transfers are $1. Transfers must be completed within a 90-minute window.

Reduction in Child Fares:
Fares for up to three children between the ages of 5 and 11 traveling with a fare-paying adult on all SEPTA services (Transit and Regional Rail) will be $1. Up to three children under the age of 5 traveling with a fare-paying adult will continue to ride for free on all SEPTA services.

New Three-Day Convenience Pass Priced at $18:
The pass is good for 72-hours after initial tap

Fares for Disabled Riders:
No Change in Base Fares, Deeper Discount for Those Who Transfer. The Disabled Fare with a SEPTA Key Card remains unchanged at $1.25, and will include one free transfer. Fares for CCT Paratransit/Shared Ride remain unchanged at $4.25.

Increases to Weekly and Monthly Passes:
Weekly TransPasses for travel on buses, subways and trolleys will increase just $1, and Monthly TransPasses will increase by $3

All proposed changes are outlined in the proposed tariffs or at the bottom of this page

Stay up to date by following us on Twitter at