New year has new goals for fully funded SEPTA

SEPTA bus
SEPTA bus

Four months ago, SEPTA unveiled a doomsday plan that predicted drastically reduced public transit services in coming years, including cutting 9 of 13 regional rail lines and converting all trolley lines to bus routes.

But going into 2014, thanks to a state transportation funding bill that met SEPTA’s needs, that doomsday scenario will not play out.

“Needless to say, we’re thrilled,” said SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey of the funding. “When you look at the alternative and what our future was facing and what our customer were facing, it was not a pretty picture.”

In the doomsday budget scenario announced in September, cutbacks would begin in 2014 if SEPTA didn’t receive a sizable budget injection.

Instead, SEPTA has a five-year timetable for capital improvements around the system, called Catching Up, unveiled in late December.

“A lot of critical infrastructure is failing us. The immediate attention will be to those infrastructure problems,” Casey said.

One of the first projects to get underway will be replacing the aging bridge timbers at three bridges on the Media/Elwyn line, to prevent the entire line from being shut down.

Further down the road, SEPTA hopes to get started on refurbishing and improving City Hall station, Casey said.

SEPTA will also take over responsibilities for the concourse.

“We want to fix them up, have a huge facelift of those facilities, make people feel safer walking underneath and have it be more aesthetically pleasing,” Casey said of the concourse and City Hall stations.

The doomsday scenario was avoided thanks to a $2.3 billion state transportation bill signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett in November. An estimated $340 million of those funds will go towards SEPTA’s budget over five years.

Renewal projects

Replace rail vehicles: new electric locomotives and Silverliner VI models (replacing Silverliner IV) for use on regional rail lines, and new trolleys.

Replace/rehabilitate bridges: Media/Elywn lines, Crum Creek viaduct, Elwyn to Wawa bridge, Norristown High-Speed Line bridges and viaducts.

Replace/rehabiliate railroad, high-speed line, and subway power substations, many nearing 80-90 years in age: including Jenkintown, Ambler, Morton, Lenni and Lansdale; Clifton, Market and Castor substations.

Refurbishing transit stations: 69th Street West Terminal, Center City concourse, City Hall/15th Street, 5th Street, Wyoming, 19th Street and Hunting Park.

Track renewal on all trolley lines and Norristown High Speed Line.

Stabilizing cuts in land and slopes near railroad tracks, such as in Media, on Mainline, in Limekiln and Ardsley.

Rehabilitating railroad stations: Exton, Levittown, Secanee, Villanova Tunnel, Yardley, East Falls, Conshohocken, Willow Grove, Wyndmoor, Jenkintown, Roslyn, Lawndale and Paoli.

Expanding parking around railroad stations.

____________________

Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @metrophilly

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Facebook: Metro Philadelphia



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

PHOTO: Queen Elizabeth pulls off epic photobomb

The selfie / photobomb has gone viral.

Local

Astoria minivan crash kills 1, injures 6: NYPD

Anthony Boyd, 45, died soon after what investigators believe was some sort of medical emergency as he drove his family through Astoria on Sunday afternoon.

Local

NYC pension funds valued at $160b: Scott Stringer

The five NYC pension funds that thousands of city employees contribute to saw its fifth year in a row of increased returns, up $23 billion from last year.

International

Sierra Leone Ebola patient, recovered from family, dies…

An Ebola patient whose family sparked a nationwide hunt when they forcefully removed her from a treatment center and took her to a traditional healer has died.

Television

Kacy Catanzaro credits mind over body in "American…

Kacy Catanzaro credits her victory to mental focus and upper body strength.

Movies

The 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer is…

Watch 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' trailer.

Music

Newport Folk Festival: Photo gallery of 35 moments…

As has been the tradition since Bob Dylan plugged in a bajillion years ago, the Newport Folk Festival embraces more musical genres than its name implies.

Music

MKTO: Behind the bromance

MKTO's Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller talk about the American Dream tour, Demi Lovato and getting turned down by girls.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Tech

Amazon offers 3D printing to customize earrings, bobble…

By Deepa SeetharamanSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc will offer 3D printing services that allow customers to customize and build earrings, bobble head toys and…

Wellbeing

This Week In Health: Friends share similar DNA,…

Friends share similar DNA, study finds Location: U.S. Study subjects: Nearly 2,000 people Results: When it comes to our social networks, it seems that birds of…

Education

Are liberal arts colleges turning away from the…

Bryn Mawr College, a small women's college located just outside of Philadelphia, announced last week that it would be making standardized tests like the SAT…

Education

Recent grads discover school superintendent plagiarized parts of…

  Two recent high school graduates made a surprising discovery about the commencement speech their school superintendent delivered at their graduation: portions of it was copied…