On Thursday, 5/25, the SEPTA Board approved Operating and Capital budgets for Fiscal Year 2018, putting in place spending plans to cover everyday costs and improvement projects. The Board also approved fare changes for Fiscal Year 2018 including modest increases across all modes of travel and methods of payment. Fiscal Year 2018 is the 12-month period that starts on July 1, 2017.
The Board’s approval comes after a series of public hearings were held this spring on both budget proposals. Those sessions were overseen by an independent hearing examiner.
The $1.45 billion operating budget represents an increase of approximately 2.8 percent over Fiscal Year 2017, driven mainly by anticipated increases in costs for labor, fuel, parts and services. SEPTA has had a balanced Operating Budget for 17 consecutive years, and that is expected to continue through FY 2018.
SEPTA continues to implement measures to control operating costs, such as storing and reusing the energy generated by trains when brakes are applied. Overall fuel consumption has also been reduced thanks to the Authority’s commitment to replacing aging buses with more fuel efficient diesel-electric hybrids. In addition, costs for injuries and damages have gone down in recent years, due in large part to the increased role of video evidence from surveillance cameras.
Under the $727.2 million Fiscal Year 2018 Capital Budget, SEPTA will advance initiatives to renew critical infrastructure, replace aging portions of its fleet, expand capacity for growing ridership and make technology improvements. The FY 2018 plan also includes the implementation of new technologies for customers, such as real-time travel alerts.
The FY 2018 Capital Budget, and 12-Year Capital Program, advances SEPTA's "Rebuilding the System" initiative, a comprehensive program to reinvest in the transit network throughout the region. The Authority embarked on this plan following the November 2013 passage of Act 89, which provides capital funds for transportation improvements throughout Pennsylvania.
The SEPTA Board approved fare changes for Fiscal Year 2018, including modest increases across all modes of travel and methods of payment. In keeping with the recommendations of the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission, SEPTA has adopted a policy of making periodic fare adjustments, with increases in 2007, 2010 and 2013. This proposal represents the next regularly scheduled fare increase – the 2016 increase was postponed one year to allow time for the initial rollout of the SEPTA Key.
Fare revenues help fund SEPTA’s Operating Budget, which provides for the everyday expenses of running the system, such as labor, fuel and power. The fare changes go into effect at the start of Fiscal Year 2018 on July 1, 2017.
This proposal builds on efforts implemented with the last increase to simplify the fare structure for customers as they switch to the SEPTA Key. For example, the new proposal removes “premium fares” on the Norristown High Speed Line and bus routes 123, 124, 125 and 150 – making these permanent standard-fare rides. Below is a summary of changes to some of the most widely used fare payment methods. The full details of the fare increase are posted here. To view the full press release, click here.
Cash Fare/Quick Trip: Increase from $2.25 to $2.50
Discounted single ride with SEPTA Key Travel Wallet/Token: From $1.80 to $2.00
Disabled Fare: From $1.00 to $1.25
Paratransit/Shared Ride: $4.00 to $4.25
Weekly TransPass: From $24.00 to $25.50 (up to 56 trips for one customer)
Monthly TransPass: From $91.00 to $96.00 (up to 240 trips for one customer)
Weekly TrailPasses: Currently $27.25-$53.00, depending on zone; Increase to $28.25-$55.75 (up to 56 trips for one customer)
Monthly TrailPasses: Currently $101.00-$191.00, depending on zone; Increase to $105.00-$204.00 (up to 240 trips for one customer)
Convenience Pass: From $8.00 to $9.00
Independence Pass: Individual - $12.00 to $13.00; Family - $29.00 to $30.00