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
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…