SEPTA makes plea for more funds

The proposed budget would only fund debt repayment, repairs and modernizing the fleet, but not keep the system in a state of "good repair," according to officials.
The proposed budget would only fund debt repayment, repairs and modernizing the fleet, but not keep the system in a state of “good repair,” according to officials.

Three hundred and eight million dollars isn’t enough, SEPTA officials said at a capital budget hearing Tuesday.

The $308 million capital budget can only fund debt repayment, repairs and a new fleet, and it “will severely hamper SEPTA’s ability to bring the transit system to a state of good repair,” according to the authority’s public testimony.

With a capital budget that has been reduced by 25 percent in the last three years, the authority said it needs more. SEPTA said it could not expand services or renovate dilapidated structures without added funding.

Gov. Tom Corbett proposed a five-year, $1.8 billion increase in transportation funding, offering state transit authorities about $40 million the first year.

A different plan proposed by state Sen. John Rafferty would make about $500 million available for SEPTA-type organizations over five years.

Alfred Achtert, of Upper Darby, stepped to the podium and shook his head.

“This budget is a disaster,” Achtert said, adding the only money-generating power the authority has is through the fare box.

“The problem becomes 90 miles west of here,” he said.


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