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The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's board last week approved the agency's operating and capital budgets for fiscal-year 2023, which begins July 1.
At $1.16 billion, the new capital budget is the largest in SEPTA’s history and the first to pass the billion-dollar mark, SEPTA officials said in a press release. In addition, the 12-Year Program is budgeted at $11.4 billion, SEPTA’s largest investment in the system to date.
Together, the operating budget and 12-Year Program will advance several projects, including King of Prussia Rail, Trolley Modernization and rail-fleet replacements under state of good repair initiatives. The Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines will be fully accessible for disabled people by 2034.
The capital program is part of a broader push to make the SEPTA system more than just a commuter network, but rather a “lifestyle” network to suit all kinds of riders, agency officials said.
The $1.61 billion operating budget contains no fare increases and features fare-related efforts aimed at increasing post-pandemic ridership. Those efforts include the new Neighborhood FleX DayPass, which is intended for short-distance riders on Regional Rail systems. To be released this fall, the pass costs $10 and can be used for up to 10 rides on subways, trolleys, Zone 2 Regional Rail trains and buses.
The budget also includes the expansion of the SEPTA Key Advantage, a new institutional pass program. The program allows participating institutions — such as universities, hospitals and local businesses — to distribute SEPTA Key cards to their employees, SEPTA officials said in a press release. Several institutions are already participating, including Drexel University, Penn Medicine and local convenience store chain Wawa. The expansion makes the program permanent and able to accommodate additional institutions.
Other pandemic-era benefits for riders will remain in the new budget, including one free-transfer per trip on all transit modes and free rides for young children. Also, select fares will be reduced starting July 1.
In addition to fare revenue, SEPTA will be supported by new and expanding funding sources due to the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, newly bondable state funding and federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement funds.
To read the operating budget, click here. To read the capital budget and 12-Year Plan, click here.