A SEPTA program that has been a success in big businesses is now making it’s way to test it’s effectiveness in smaller businesses. The SEPTA Key Advantage Institutional Program has been a huge success in Philadelphia, as it allows companies to buy SEPTA key cards in bulk to subsidize rides for their employess who utilize public transportation.
Compared to a standard $204 rate for a monthly pass, The program will cost employers about $28 dollars a month or $170 for six months. Although an introductory rate, it is substantially less than regular rates. An adjustment will be made after six months, based on how many workers are using the passes.
Eric Johansen, SEPTA’s senior budget director, explained why SEPTA is able to afford a steep price drop and still be a profitable company.
“The reason we can do that is because employers are required to offer the product to 100% of their employees, whether they ride it or not,” Johansen said. “We modeled it to be based on what we expect to be revenue neutral for SEPTA. And then over time we hope to capture the additional ridership and revenue as we induce demand from additional people who want to ride now that they have a pass that feels free to them.”
SEPTA is looking to expand it’s program outside of commercial business. SEPTA is looking to partner with a college or university to pilot the SEPTA Key Advantage UPass in the upcoming fall semester. SEPTA also is looking for a commercial or residential landlord to pilot the program with its tenants.
Philadelphia is planning to offer the SEPTA Key Advantage Institutional Program as part of its new fiscal year budget that begins July 1.
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