Many changes coming to local public transportation authorities could have a big impact on how Temple students travel.
Following the lead of other Philadelphia-area colleges, Temple and SEPTA have reached an agreement to open a ticket office on Berks Street between Ninth and 10th streets at the foot of the university’s train platform.
Temple students who depend on SEPTA for transportation off-campus and outside the city said they are pleased that they will no longer have to pay between 50 cents and $1.50 extra to purchase tickets onboard the train.
“I think the opening of the new ticket office is wonderful in terms of how much money it will save me, but Temple and SEPTA need to make sure they have people manning it during the times it’s supposed to be open,” said sophomore political science major Keith Davis. “I was on campus one weekday afternoon over break, and no one was there.”
The new office is scheduled to be open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“It didn’t matter that there wasn’t a ticket office at Temple before SEPTA implemented their new fares in July,” sophomore social work major Courtney Davis said. “Before that, there was no surcharge for buying tickets on the train if there was no ticket office at that particular stop. After they changed their prices, however, it made it less affordable to go home.”
Davis was paying $6 each direction to take the R5 home to Malvern on the weekends.
“It was really annoying paying the surcharge,” she said. “The train conductors suggested buying tickets at one of the three stations in Center City [30th Street, Suburban or Market East], but paying $1.45 each way for subway tokens would end up being more expensive than just paying the surcharge,” Davis said.
Changes in SEPTA administration could also have an impact on public transportation users. Joseph M. Casey, previously the chief financial officer and treasurer of SEPTA, has been named general manager of the authority. His term begins Feb. 15 when outgoing manager Faye Moore’s contract expires.
One priority Casey made clear at a press conference earlier this month was an improvement of SEPTA customer service.
Also on Casey’s agenda are ongoing discussions between SEPTA and PATCO regarding expanded Philadelphia rail service. PATCO, which serves commuters between Center City and Lindenwold, N.J., is considering expanded service to the Delaware River waterfront.
One option is to reopen a Franklin Square station at Sixth and Race streets to serve as a connection, making it possible for commuters to travel between City Hall and Delaware Avenue. SEPTA’s part in the proposal would involve the operation of stations along the route while PATCO would build them, according to a Jan. 17 report from the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Jennifer Reardon can be reached at email@example.com.