💲SEPTA stopped charging for parking in 2020

💲A date has not been set for the fee to return

💲Fares for SEPTA riders will likely increase in 2026


SEPTA will soon charge again for parking at its regional rail stations after four years.

The agency stopped charging for parking at the start of the pandemic in March 2020 in order to encourage ridership. Ridership has rebounded to 80% of pre-COVID levels for regional rail and 92% system wide, according to its proposed fiscal 2025 budget.

SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch told PALivingNews.com said while the idea of reinstating a charge to park came up during recent budget hearings it is not tied to the budget process. The agency planned to increase parking costs in 2020 but changed course when the COVID-19 pandemic started in order to encourage ridership.

"We knew that at a certain time we would have to reinstate fees for parking. It always was our intention to increase the $1 fee to $2 which is charged at most lots. There's there's a couple of a couple of garages and a couple others that are currently $2," Busch said.

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Covered parking kiosks at the Warminster SEPTA station
Covered parking kiosks at the Warminster SEPTA station (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media)

Fare increase coming

Busch there is no date set to resume the parking fee but it will happen sometime during the new fiscal year which starts July 1.

Busch said The fee goes towards basic maintenance of the parking lots and admitted there is some work to be done.

"We've gotten behind on basic striping and things like that. They occasionally have to be resurfaced. We try to keep parking as low as possible but there is a cost associated with it and we have to get back to raising as much revenue as we can while making sure that it's not something that's an impediment to people from taking the system," Busch said.

Busch said that SEPTA fares have not increased since 2017 but an increase is expected for fiscal year 2026. SEPTA is facing a $240 million budget shortfall but is counting on $161 million in funding included in Gov. Josh Shapiro's state budget.

NJ Transit fares are expected to increase by 15% across the board on July 1. It will be the first increase since 2015.

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