SEPTA is required by law to hold public hearings whenever it enacts major fare changes. SEPTA, at least in its current incarnation, takes these meetings seriously. To reiterate the point I made Friday night, they are not show trials. This is not the MTA. While some things are unavoidable (a complaint about a fare increase approximately equal to the rate of inflation is going to be a waste of everyone’s time), major proposed changes in rules or policies are sometimes floated only to be rescinded in the face of major and reasonable public opposition. So if you want to see the problems with the new FY 2014 operating budget and NPT-related tariff changes fixed, I highly suggest that you engage in the process, and show up to a hearing.
SEPTA is increasing the number of hearings this year, holding an afternoon and an evening hearing apiece in all five Pennsylvania counties served, as opposed to the traditional one each in the four suburban counties and two in Philadelphia. Written comments can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Oral statements should be held to a few minutes, and written copies of prepared text should be brought and submitted.
This year’s hearings will be:
Monday, April 15, 2013, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Delaware County Court House
County Council Meeting Room
201 W. Front Street,
Media, PA 19063
Tuesday, April 16, 2013, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Montgomery County Human Services Center
Community Room, Main Floor
1430 DeKalb Pike, Norristown, PA 19404
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 11 a.m. & 5 p.m.
SEPTA Board Room
1234 Market Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Friday, April 19, 2013, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
West Chester Borough Hall
401 E. Gay Street,
West Chester, PA 19380
Tuesday, April 22, 2013, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.
Bucks County Free Library
Pearl Buck Room
150 S. Pine Street,
Doylestown, PA 18901
I’m not sure yet which of these meetings I personally will be able to attend, but I’m definitely planning on attending at least one. I hope I’ll see some of you there. There will only be this one opportunity to make our voices heard, in a venue where SEPTA will be listening.
DART First State also has a series of upcoming public hearings (called “Public Hearing Workshops” for some reason), but of course they have nothing to do with SEPTA’s. http://www.dartfirststate.com/information/getting_there/public_hearings/PHWPassengerNotice031513.pdf
I assume DART will continue to honor SEPTA passes?
According to the Tariff, DART will continue to honor SEPTA passes.
According to my own eyes, I have no idea how DART intends to honor SEPTA passes. Because now, in order to ride DART on your pass, you show it to the DART bus driver…
1) Technology will somehow be compatible. (DART does have some kind of card system, but they’re swipe cards, not chip cards, right?)
2) DART will just honor all SEPTA passes, regardless of what kind they are. I could easily see this one being adopted by DART bus drivers regardless of whether there is a sensible policy from SEPTA’s end.
3) SEPTA monthly passes will look visually distinct from SEPTA declining balance cards. I haven’t been following the discussion on this at all, but if there is no way to turn a declining balance card into an unlimited, wouldn’t it be feasible to have different-looking cards? I know NYC doesn’t do that, and it would be a slight added hassle, but it would honestly be sort of convenient to be able to tell the difference between your precious monthly and a declining-balance card with fifty cents left on it. Plus, easier for DART.
When I was in grad school, we had ID’s that were good for a semester, and you had to go to campus security at the beginning of each new semester to get them to add the special sticker that kept your ID valid. Maybe SEPTA could invest in some monthly stickers to replace the M/F stickers they are eliminating. There’s even a place on the pass where they could go, unless they’re completely redoing the layout. Of course, it would be a huge headache to line up and get new stickers, especially if you live in Wilmington, but it would work.
Or DART could just continue to honor everything, regardless of whether it has transit privileges or is unexpired. I’m not actually convinced that that would be a change.
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