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To boost ridership, SEPTA considers dropping $1 transfer fee

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The suggestion is part of a potential system overhaul

SEPTA officials are trying to find a way to combat their low bus ridership, which has declined by 17 percent in the last five years, and they hope ditching the $1 transfer fee might do the trick.

Transfer fees can discourage riders from taking multiple busses to get to one location. By doing away with them, SEPTA might see an uptick in bus ridership, allowing them to plan more efficient routes and determine which to do away with entirely, PhillyVoice wrote.

The suggestion comes as SEPTA considers a complete overhaul to their 126-route bus system, which has lost 33 million trips over the past five years, PlanPhilly first reported. Ridership went from 189 million trips in 2012, to just 156.2 million last year.

As a result of declining ridership, the transportation authority brought on transit consultant Jarrett Walker, who’s helped other cities improve their bus systems, and they plan to bring on additional consultants this summer. SEPTA is looking at how to change their bus system—including what routes to do away with and what to remap—but nothing is decided on yet, according to PlanPhilly.