The SEPTA Independence Pass Is Good For One Day of Travel

The SEPTA Independence Pass – which is also known as the SEPTA One Day Independence Pass – offers unlimited travel, anywhere on SEPTA, for a single day, including most Regional Rail trains. At $11 for an individual and $28 for a family of four – is it the right deal for you? Let’s find out….

This Pass is the descendant of the now discarded DayPass. Here are the basics of what you get-

Unlimited Travel on All SEPTA City Transit Division Routes, Including the SEPTA Blue Line – “the el”, the Broad Street Subway, the Norristown High Speed Line, Trolleys, and Buses – and the non-SEPTA Phlash – and Some Travel on SEPTA Regional Rail Lines

The big carrot with the Pass, is that it permits free travel on SEPTA Regional Rail trains, which are more expensive than SEPTA City Transit Division Lines. However, there are two important exceptions, to the blanket freedom to ride SEPTA Regional Rail:

You cannot use the SEPTA Independence Pass, to ride SEPTA Regional Rail prior to 9:30 AM, in order to prevent ordinary commuters from benefitting from it. Also, there is a $5.00 surcharge, if you are trying to use the Pass to Trenton, New Jersey, where you can pick up Amtrak or NJ Transit to New York City.

So How Much does the SEPTA Independence Pass Cost?

It costs $11, for an individual person. There is also a Family SEPTA Independence Pass, which costs $28 for a family of four – two adults, two children.

Is the SEPTA Independence Pass Worth the $11?

That depends.

If you are making a round-trip SEPTA Regional Rail trip (with both trips coming after 9:30 AM, and you’re not going to or coming from Trenton), then you are probably better off with the Pass.

Even a short, Zone 2 round-trip is $8.75 when purchased in advance, $10 on board. And additional zones, all the way to Zone 6, are even more expensive – the SEPTA Independence Pass is cheaper than the train fare, right off the bat.

If you’re planning on taking the Phlash, the el, the subway, or buses when you’re in town, it would save you money, because then you wouldn’t need SEPTA tokens.

There is also a convenience factor – you blend in more easily with a pass, it reduces the need to fumble for exact change and dollar bills and tokens.

What if you’re only making one train trip, but riding other transit lines while in town?

In that case, the pass probably isn’t worth it. Even the most expensive one-way trip - a Zone 6 one-way, purchased on board the train – is only $10, less than the Pass. And most of you won’t be making Zone 6 trips. Most are Zones 2, 3, and4 , which are less money.

And certainly, if you’re not going to be riding SEPTA Regional Rail at all, we don’t recommend the SEPTA Independence Pass, at all. You would need to make a few trips on other SEPTA lines, for the $11 cost to be worth it.

In addition, SEPTA tokens don’t expire – unlike the SEPTA Independence Pass. If you buy more tokens than you turn out to need on any given day, you just keep them. In contrast, with the Pass, the money’s gone forever (and then you also have the hassle of buying more tokens). Tokens are only $1.55 each – if you’re not taking the train, you’d need to use six tokens a day to make the pass worth it, and you won’t be taking that many trips!

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