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Rail News: Passenger Rail
SEPTA calls on public officials to address transit funding
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC), yesterday issued a report calling on state and local official to address the “looming transportation funding crisis” driven by changes coming to Act 44.
Act 44 required the PTC to provide the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) with $450 million annually for highways, bridges and public transit, according to a SEPTA press release. In 2013, the act was modified to dedicate the payments to public transit.
In 2022, PTC payments to PennDOT for transit will be cut to $50 million and then $450 million will be provided from the state's General Fund.
The report — developed by an advisory council made up of regional business, employers, elected officials and transportation agencies — addresses the unsustainable statewide funding system and limited economic growth at current funding levels, SEPTA officials said.
Reduced and unstable funding will lead to more project and procurement delays and ultimately impact service levels for riders, they added.
“With the aid of regional leaders, we assembled a report that provides a clear picture of the vision and challenges facing our transportation system and a menu of options to address them,” said SEPTA Chair Pasquale Deon.
Pasquale Deon, SEPTA chairman, said without sustainable state funding and new sources of revenues, projects such as the high-speed trail to King Prussia, added capacity to trains on the Market-Frankford line, new regional rail cars and modernized trolley will “simply not happen.”
Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.