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SEPTA, other Pennsylvania transit agencies seek new funding methods

By | July 13, 2021

Requests to state legislature come as funding from turnpike system nears major reduction

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Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority logo

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority logoHARRISBURG, Pa. — The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and other Pennsylvania transit agencies are asking state legislators to create new funding streams to address money from the state turnpike system that is coming to an end, and to take other measures to address transit needs.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports lobbyists and transit advocates are seeking action as the turnpike prepares to cut its annual contribution to state transit systems from $450 million to $50 million. The turnpike is $11 billion in debt and has curtailed its own improvements to meet the transit obligation.

Transit agencies will begin receiving money from tax and use fees on vehicle purchases in 2023, but they are asking the legislature to allow them to start issuing bonds with those funds as collaterail to address current needs, and to allow local governments to raise taxes or fees specifically for transit.

SEPTA currently faces a backlog of $6.4 billion for state-of-good-repair projects, including equipment replacement. At current funding levels, “that backlog will be caught up in about 20 years,” SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards told the newspaper.



2 thoughts on “SEPTA, other Pennsylvania transit agencies seek new funding methods

  1. SEPTA has seen this day coming since 2007 when the Turnpike money began coming. There was an end date of 2022 in the Act (Act 44 of 2007)

    The Act forced the Turnpike to raise tolls for 11 straight years and increased its debt as well. Traffic is already avoiding the Turnpike for toll free roads, so renewal of Act 44 is not an option.

    So SEPTA is every bit as shocked to find the current financial situation as Captain Reynaud was to find there was gambling in Rick’s Cafe Americain in Casablanca.

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