SEPTA Reports Record for Regional Rail Ridership

But overall SEPTA ridership — including buses and trolleys — is down.

Septa regional rail train

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

SEPTA this year has taken the express train to record Regional Rail ridership.

In the recently ended July 2014-June 2015 fiscal year, SEPTA regional trains saw 37.4 million annual trips, a more than two percent increase over 2014’s data, SEPTA said in a press release today. In the 2014 fiscal year, 36.7 million annual trips were recorded on Regional Rail, per a SEPTA Ridership and Revenue report.

With record Regional Rail ridership also reported in 2013, SEPTA has seen that division grow steadily over the past several years. Today’s report mentioned that for the 16th consecutive year, SEPTA has also operated with a balanced budget.

Across the entire SEPTA system — buses, trolleys, and subways included, as well as both city and suburban routes — ridership is actually down 0.4 percent from last year. SEPTA officials blamed the lower ridership, in part, on a “a second consecutive harsh winter where snowfall exceeded the norm by five inches. The winter storms and cold temperatures resulted in five unscheduled days off for schools.”

Overall, 2015 fiscal year ridership totaled 330.1 million, slightly below the fiscal year 2014 figure.

How much money did that raise for SEPTA? Fiscal year 2015 revenue increased 1 percent, or $4.5 million, from last year, but still fell below’s the agency target. Most of passenger fare came in the form of passes, and cash payments dwindled. On Regional Rail specifically, two-thirds of passengers use passes, and just below 20 percent use paper tickets bought in advance.