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Rail News: Passenger Rail

SEPTA unveils plan to reduce energy costs


Yesterday, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) unveiled its first "energy action plan" aimed at reducing costs through increased efficiencies that could save the agency more than $2 million annually.

The plan also aims to "preserve the sustainable environmental benefits" of public transit, SEPTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The plan's release comes during a time of significant challenges for SEPTA, which for the third consecutive year has had to defer dozens of "critical" improvement projects due to funding cuts, they said. The agency's $300 million capital budget is 25 percent less than funding levels from three years ago.

The energy action plan will build on existing energy-saving initiatives in SEPTA's sustainability program, such as the agency's no-cost switch to daytime cleaning of its headquarters building and the installation of a first-of-its-kind wayside energy storage device at a substation on the Market-Frankford Line. Those programs save the agency hundreds of thousands of dollars annually, SEPTA estimates. In addition, a newly installed propulsion control system on the Broadway Street Line has cut power costs almost 13 percent.

The energy action plan will help SEPTA further reduce its overall power consumption in an effort to save about $2.2 million annually. SEPTA officials hope to leverage those savings to help finance "much needed capital improvements," they said.

"The steps outlined in the energy action plan will help ensure SEPTA is prepared to serve customers now and for generations to come," said General Manager Joseph Casey.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 11/13/2012