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SEPTA proposes FY08 fare hike to help make up $150 million budget deficit

It’s another year and another potential budget crisis for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Still trying to make do without a dedicated source of state transit funding, the authority has projected a $150 million budget deficit in fiscal-year 2008.

SEPTA recently proposed a $1 billion operating budget that calls for implementing an 11 percent fare increase to generate an additional $29 million annually, obtaining another $8 million through other revenue sources and reducing expenses by $13 million. The measures would reduce the deficit to $100 million.

Authority officials hope that deficit can be overcome through a dedicated state funding source. Earlier this month, Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell proposed implementing a 6.17 percent oil company gross profits tax that would be dedicated to state transit agencies.

However, if dedicated funds aren’t approved, SEPTA will need to implement a 31 percent fare hike, cut service 20 percent across the board and eliminate 1,000 jobs, authority officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/16/2007