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6/15/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Pennsylvania senator proposes long-term funding source for SEPTA, other state transit authorities


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Because of state funding shortfalls during six of the past nine years, Pennsylvania transit agencies are facing multi-million-dollar budget deficits. In fiscal-year 2005, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will face a $70 million operating budget shortfall if it doesn’t receive additional state funding, agency officials have said.

But State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf recently introduced legislation that could provide those funds and State Rep. John Taylor is expected to soon introduce identical legislation. The bill would lift a $75 million cap and dedicate an additional 3.2 percent of the existing sales tax to public transit, generating about $282 million in FY2005. SEPTA would receive about $174 million.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of Philadelphia Center City District/Central Philadelphia Development Corp. Paul Levy was named to head the saveTransit Coalition, formed earlier this year to lobby state politicians to enact legislation that would provide a long-term funding source for Pennsylvania transit agencies.



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