By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Septa is tinkering with its fare hikes that are scheduled to go into effect in July.
Septa laid out its plans early this spring for fare increases and a new electronic fare-collection system (see related story), and held several public hearings (see related story), during which several of the changes were widely criticized.
Chief among them was the increased charge for weekly and monthly passes for bus and subway riders, the hike for paratransit service, and how seniors should identify themselves for free and discounted rides.
The full Septa board will be voting next week to slightly cut back the increases for weekly and monthly passes. Still, as previously announced, pass holders will no longer get an unlimited number of trips.
Septa also plans to reverse the increase for paratransit.
Septa chief financial officer Richard Burnfield says they are also rethinking the requirement for senior citizens to present a driver’s license rather than merely showing their Medicare card. He says they are trying to develop some sort of photo ID requirement for seniors.
The other big changes remain intact: fare hikes kick in July 1st, with the cash fare rising from $2.00 to $2.25, and tokens going from $1.55 to $1.80 each.
Then, the sea change happens in the fall, as Septa begins rolling out its new smart card system.