SEPTA yields on tickets purchased before fare increase
Giving Regional Rail passengers a last-minute reprieve, SEPTA officials on Friday reversed plans to invalidate rail tickets that were issued before the July 1 fare increase.
SEPTA had angered riders by posting signs at ticket offices announcing that, effective Sunday, the old tickets would not be accepted for travel, even though tickets had been printed with a statement that they were valid for 180 days.
"Conductors will be instructed to accept the tickets," SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams said Friday, after inquiries from The Inquirer and the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) prompted the change.
"The signs are coming down," she said.
Riders like Ted Rickles, 50, of Cheltenham, complained that the original move was a "legal and ethical" problem for SEPTA.
Rickles said he had purchased 13 tickets June 26 for $5.50 each and now faced paying $8.50 each for replacement tickets.
"Three dollars per ticket is a big difference," he said.
Bob Clearfield, vice president of the DVARP, called SEPTA's original plan "unfriendly and shortsighted." He said: "If they printed a ticket that said it's valid for 180 days, in my opinion, that's a contract."
He noted that SEPTA made no effort to prevent subway and bus riders from using tokens purchased before the July 1 fare increase.
Williams said SEPTA had received about 20 complaints from rail riders and said that "after Sept. 1, we would have gotten more."
Contact Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or email@example.com.