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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) board last week approved a $1.28 billion operating budget for fiscal-year 2014.The fiscal year extends from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014. In July, the board approved a six-month spending plan while the Pennsylvania Legislature continued discussions on a state transportation-funding bill, which was approved last month, SEPTA officials said in a press release.Originally, the FY2014 operating budget was projected to have a $38 million shortfall, but the gap has been erased due to cost-saving actions such as switching to a self-insured health insurance plan, they said.The agency continues to follow state recommended steps to raise additional revenue, such as through periodic fare increases and an expanded advertising program, which is projected to raise $14 million in FY2014.A fare increase that went into effect on July 1 is in keeping with the strategy, as the authority has adopted a policy of enacting cost-of-living priced fare hikes every three years, SEPTA officials said.
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