By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A nonprofit group that advocates for mass transit riders in our area had a mostly positive reaction today to SEPTA’s announcement of fare increases and its new payment system (see related story).

SEPTA says it now adjusts fares every three years because of a 2007 state law creating a dedicated source of transportation funding.

So this increase was not a surprise to Matthew Mitchell, president of the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers.

“Nobody wants to have to pay that, but the numbers are in line with inflation, (or) a little bit higher,” he said today.

As for the transition to the new fare system, he say there are long-term benefits.  But he’s concerned with some of the changes.

“It is going to be more headache,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “When you go through Market East station, go through Suburban Station, go through University City, you’ll need to stop, get out your pass, tap your pass on the reader, and go through the turnstile on your way in and out of the station.”

He says having to swipe a smart card in and out of stations means potential for riders to be overcharged — an issue he’ll bring up at hearings open to the public next month.

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