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9/10/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

SEPTA proposes job and service cuts, fare hikes to deal with FY2005 budget deficit


Yesterday, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) announced plans to reduce service and increase fares Jan. 1 unless the authority obtains funds to make up a $62 million fiscal-year 2005 budget deficit.

SEPTA officials have proposed increasing all fares 25 percent, cutting service 20 percent system-wide and cancelling all weekend service, and eliminating about 1,400 jobs. The measures would hike the base fare from $2 to $2.50, increase headways, lessen service hours and reduce ridership 22 percent. However, the fare increase is expected to generate $28 million in additional revenue during a six-month period and service reductions would save the authority $36 million.

"These contingency measures are contrary to every aspect of the mission of this transit authority," said SEPTA General Manager Faye Moore in a prepared statement. "We should be expanding the system, not dismantling this transit authority."

In June, SEPTA’s board adopted a $919.7 million budget with a $70 million deficit based on anticipated state funds. In July, the state legislature adopted a budget with a state and local subsidy that was $7.8 million more than the governor’s budget proposal, leaving the authority with a $62.2 million deficit.

However, SEPTA officials are hoping that legislation proposed in June by State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf and State Rep. John Taylor passes. The legislation would provide funding for SEPTA and other Pennsylvania transit agencies.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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