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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

SEPTA seeks public feedback on possible fare increases, service cuts


Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will hold five public hearings between Oct. 15 and Oct. 19 on its contingency plan for the fiscal-year 2005 budget.

The authority is facing a $62 million FY2005 budget deficit. Unless SEPTA obtains additional funds, the agency plans to increase fares 25 percent, cut service 20 percent system-wide and cancel all weekend service, and eliminate about 1,400 jobs by January.

The measures would hike the base fare from $2 to $2.50, increase headways, lessen service hours and reduce overall ridership 22 percent.

In June, SEPTA’s board adopted a $919.7 million budget with a $70 million deficit based on anticipated state funds. In July, the state legislature adopted a budget with a state and local subsidy that exceeded the governor’s budget proposal by $7.8 million and left the authority with a $62.2 million deficit.

However, SEPTA officials are hoping that legislation proposed in June by State Sen. Stewart Greenleaf and State Rep. John Taylor — which would provide funding for SEPTA and other Pennsylvania transit agencies — passes.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/16/2004