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12/27/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Pennsylvania transit agencies to obtain short-term state funding



For the time being, Pennsylvania transit agencies can hold off on cutting service and increasing fares.

Last week, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell proposed an interim funding plan that would provide $18.8 million to state transit agencies while the legislature determines a more permanent funding solution. Agencies planned to cut service and raise fares early next year to offset multi-million-dollar budget deficits due to reduced state funding.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County would receive $4.7 million in state funds, enabling the agency to postpone a fare increase scheduled to take effect Feb. 1 until March 1. Facing a $30 million fiscal-year 2005 operating budget deficit, the authority is planning to raise fares from $1.75 to $2, and reduce service on March 6 unless it obtains additional state funding. If the authority doesn’t obtain funds by July 1, it will increase the base fare to $2.50 and cut service an additional 15 percent.

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority would receive $13 million in state funding to help address its $62.2 million deficit. The authority is considering delaying its proposal to increase fares and cut service.


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