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RAIL EMPLOYMENT



Rail News Home Passenger Rail

2/1/2011



Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA plans new payment system, rail-car purchase and station renovation


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At its January meeting, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) board approved funding proposals for three major initiatives: a $250 million grant and fare revenue bond plan to acquire 120 new regional rail cars and renovate the Wayne Junction Station; and a $175 million plan to install a new fare payment system.

The grant and fare revenue bonds are anticipated to provide up to $208 million to buy 120 new, Silverliner V regional cars under a contract with Hyundai-Rotem, plus related costs. The cars "will significantly upgrade customer service throughout the regional rail system," SEPTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The grant and revenue bonds also will help finance the Wayne Junction Station renovations this year, even though the project was cut from the fiscal-year 2011 capital budget due to a 25 percent funding reduction. Funding for the station will come from a $4 million grant award from the Federal Transit Administration and $23 million from the bond sale.

In a separate decision, the board approved a loan commitment agreement with the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC) Regional Center that will provide up to $175 million in funding for a new payment technology initiative that includes a "Smart Card" project, as well as related infrastructure, communications and customer service improvements.

The new payment technology initiatives will be financed through the "Welcome Fund," a low-cost loan program developed by PIDC in conjunction with CanAm Enterprises L.L.C.

SEPTA pursued the "innovative" financing after the Smart Card project was cut from the fiscal-year 2011 capital budget due to the 25 percent cut, SEPTA officials said. The new payment system is expected to be completed in about three years.







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