Thrown Under the Bus By SEPTA

Just months after giving its workers a big fat raise, SEPTA wants to hit riders with a big fat fare increase. Anyone else feel like they're being taken for a ride?


I’m sorry, but I just have to ask, with all due respect: Are you out of your freaking mind?

I mean, when I saw the headline on Friday that read “SEPTA seeks first fare hike in 3 years,” it wasn’t a total shock: I knew you’ve been thinking about it for ages now. And who doesn’t lack for cash these days? Inflation — your stated reason for raising our fares — is a bear. But hey, didn’t you just secure the bulk of your employees an 11.5 percent raise over the next five years? Plus a $1,250 bonus for all 5,000 union members? (That’s like $1,250 more than anyone I know got by way of a bonus recently.) [SIGNUP]

And by the way, I’m still pretty mad about the way you bullied your way into that raise, leaving everyone who needs you — everyone who gives you your job — stranded with no ride. For days. (Oh, and that strike cost the city upwards of $150,000. You didn’t offer to foot that bill, did you?) That was after you landed about $182 million in stimulus money. So I guess what I’m saying, SEPTA, is that you picked a bad time to ask for more from us.

Right now, it seems like every budget problem the Powers That Be aren’t resourceful or visionary or brave enough to solve immediately becomes MY problem. MY trash tax. MY tea tax. MY transfer fee. The last of which, of course, is especially egregious since a lot of people take the bus, the train or the subway because it’s all they can afford. You know that. Yet before the ink on all those bonus checks dried, you’d already decided that their pocketbooks were the solution to your problems.
And when your ridership decreases — as experts predict it will — because of the proposed hikes, I suppose we can expect a costly city-wide campaign to get Philadelphians back on public transit. Right?

Just let us know — we’ll start saving our quarters now.

Your humble rider

CHRISTY SPEER is a Philly Mag senior editor.