Submitted by TheOperaGhostofKinja t3_119mslm in Pennsylvania

Help Me SEPTA?

My mother and I will be visiting Philly this weekend, taking the regional rail in on Saturday, and heading out on Sunday, and I’m trying to understand the screwy payment system.

We’ll be taking the Paoli/Thorndale line, getting on in Paoli, and getting off in Center City (Jefferson Station to be precise).

I think I’ve figured out Sunday - buy a QuickTrip card from a kiosk at the station, and use that to head out. However, I am confused about Saturday. Am I reading this correctly that I can get on the train in Paoli, not pay anything at that point, not pay the conductor on the train, and then purchase an exit QuickTrip at Jefferson station?

The last time I did this was pre-COVID, when they were still selling paper tickets at the regional rail stations, so I apologize for the confusion.

(Also, before anybody recommends it, I already tried posting in r/Philadelphia, but since I’m not active in the sub, the post was auto-removed)



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Brunt-FCA-285 t1_j9n4fig wrote

So, you’re correct that you can buy a ticket into Center City AFTER getting on the train in Paoli and getting off the train in Center City. According to the Regional Rail fare section on SEPTA’s website, your options are as follows:

> SEPTA accepts cash for travel on any Regional Rail line. Exact fare is not required. The conductor can make change, but bills larger than $20 are not accepted. The cost of the trip is higher when paying cash on board.

> Customers may purchase a Quick Trip ticket from a Center City Regional Rail station. The ticket is good for a single one-way ride from Center City to any outlying station and must be used on the date of purchase.

> Customers arriving in Center City without having provided a fare onboard must purchase an Exit Quick Trip at an Exit Fare Kiosk and must be used within two hours of purchase.

If your visit to Philadelphia is a one-time thing, I recommend the Exit Quick Trip option for entering the city on Saturday and the regular Quick Trip for leaving the city on Sunday. If you plan on returning here in the future, or even if you plan on moving about town, I’d recommend that you invest in a SEPTA Key card. It’s cheaper than paying cash on the train, and you can just put money on the card and use it for whatever mode of transportation you need to use. It is definitely a pain to not be able to buy the Key card at a Regional Rail stop, but the sales kiosk at the King of Prussia transfer center by the mall isn’t too far from Paoli.

I hope you enjoy your visit here.


TheOperaGhostofKinja OP t1_j9n60fz wrote

Thanks a lot! This is only a quick trip (no pun intended) for a theater show Saturday night, with a small bit of walking around Sunday morning so I was figuring the QuickTrip/paying cash would be the best option. And your explanation matched what I was reading.

I guess I still don’t quite understand how the exit Quick Trip system is regulated. Couldn’t people just lie about what zone they started in and pay the lower fare?

And I do want to come back at some point in the future. Other than grade school field trips to the Liberty Bell and Franklin Institute, (and driving through on the way to the shore) I’ve never gotten to explore Philly.


PatientNice t1_j9ojhic wrote

If your mother is old enough to qualify, she can get a SEPTA Senior Key card. She wouldn’t have to pay anything.


k2j2 t1_j9n3yhn wrote

I took the R6 in on a Saturday a few months ago and the conductor collected payment- took credit card or cash.


RuinTop1965 t1_j9o2zq6 wrote

I don't think it has been the r6 for 15 years. using outdated terminology in a post asking for clarification is a great way to do the opposite.


electric_ranger t1_j9od6of wrote

Eh, It’s just a thing that happens as you get older lol

My mother gives directions based on where Clover USED TO BE


calonmawr10 t1_j9od0l3 wrote

The conductors take cards on the train, so you could just pay that way!


LurkersWillLurk t1_j9pddum wrote

They take credit cards on the train???


calonmawr10 t1_j9pdqr5 wrote

Yup! Using the same machines they use to boop the septa key cards


ponte95ma t1_j9n4eji wrote

Yeah, you could buy an Exit Quick Trip once you reach Center City.

Or just pay the conductor cash ...

Ways to Pay

>SEPTA accepts cash for travel on any Regional Rail line. Exact fare is not required. The conductor can make change, but bills larger than $20 are not accepted. The cost of the trip is higher when paying cash on board.

... which in your case (Paoli being in Zone 4) it'll be ...

Fare Pricing

>Paid on Train, Weekends/Evenings: $7


becausesleep t1_j9n119s wrote

Apologies, this is not an answer to your question.

Just posting to say yea that sub is so unhelpful. they filter out anyone who actually has a question that the RESIDENTS THERE should be able to help with--just so they can fill the sub with superbowl posts. Like, why would you not want to help more members or soon to be members of your community?

I am moving to Philly late this year and SEPTA is confusing to me as well so I hope you get some good answers here :)


electric_ranger t1_j9odehq wrote

Hi, /r/Philadelphia mod here. We have a casual chat thread twice a week, moving Monday, and an events megathread. Each of those are stickied at the top of the sub, get hundreds of comments and views, and are specifically geared for getting feedback.

If you have a question please don’t hesitate to ask, our users are very willing to help.


TheOperaGhostofKinja OP t1_j9n3ldg wrote

Thanks for the commiseration. I know how snarky that sub can be, so I tried to tailor my post to show - yes! I did do my research! No, I still don’t understand how it works.

And r/AskPhilly has been dead for 10 months now, so I doubted they would be any help.


electric_ranger t1_j9odml3 wrote

Definitely ask in the casual chat thread on /r/Philadelphia or events thread that are stickied at the top of the sub when you sort as new.

The spam filter should be blocking posting not commenting


Phillyguyoz t1_j9nbdkz wrote

If you dumb just say that


Wuz314159 t1_j9ngy0v wrote

SEPTA is confusing AF. I honestly believe they just want you to say "Fuck it! Take as much of my money as possible."