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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Passenger Rail

4/6/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA, Houston Metro won't cut services despite lack of funding


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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County, Texas (Metro) have no plans to cut services, despite a recent American Public Transportation Association report that showed 84 percent of public transit systems are taking or considering that action due to budget deficits.

Although SEPTA doesn't expect to reduce service, the agency is considering other cost-cutting measures. If the plan to turn Interstate 80 into a toll road that's currently being reviewed by the Federal Highway Administration is not approved, SEPTA will need to trim $110 million — or more than 25 percent — from its capital budget for fiscal-year 2011. If that happens, the authority will either delay or abandon plans to install new payment technology, renovate city hall station and implement Elwyn-to-Wawa service. SEPTA also would lack funding for several repairs, improvements and renovations throughout the system.

In addition, SEPTA is proposing a 6 percent fare increase, which is expected to generate an additional 6 percent in revenue for operating expenses.

Meanwhile, Metro currently has no plans to cut services or raise fares. Metro’s fiscal discipline has resulted in a “nearly flat budget” for the past five years and the agency “is prepared to weather the current economic downturn,” according to a prepared statement.  

Metro has had a hiring freeze in place for more than a year, with the exception of police officers, bus operators and mechanics. The freeze will continue, but there are no plans for further cuts, Metro said.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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