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9/16/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

SEPTA seeks public feedback on possible fare increases, service cuts


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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.

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