Sen. Bob Casey calls on Congress to fully fund SEPTA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey wants the federal government to step in with a permanent funding solution for SEPTA. Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

Four days after SEPTA released its “doomsday plan” outlining drastic service cuts the transit system will need to undertake if additional funding is not allocated, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey called on Congress to “begin work on a long-term transportation bill that could increase funds and provide more certainty to SEPTA,” according to a release from Casey’s office.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which provided billions in surface transportation funding, was signed by President Barack Obama in July 2012 and will expire in about a year, leading to a series of short-term extension bills that have plunged transit agencies like SEPTA into uncertainty regarding their future funding outlook.

Casey is urging the federal government to instead develop and pass a long-term reauthorization bill financed by the Highway Trust Fund, which itself is underfunded and will become insolvent by 2015 if no action is taken.

“Public transit is a major part of Southeastern Pennsylvania’s economy and it’s essential that SEPTA has the resources it needs to continue to provide safe and reliable transportation,” Casey said in a statement.

“Careening from one short-term transportation bill to another has increased uncertainty for agencies like SEPTA. Congress should begin work now on a long-term transportation bill that allows public agencies to plan into the future. A comprehensive and long-term approach to transportation can create jobs and improve economic growth.”

The release notes SEPTA’s total ridership in 2012 hit a 23-year record with 339.3 million passenger trips, representing a growth of 40 million trips since 2006.

Casey sent a letter urging action to members of the Senate committees on finance and on environment and public works, and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

“As transit agencies face shrinking contributions from states and municipalities, we need to provide consistent federal funding,” he wrote.

“Failure to do so could result in cuts to routes that commuters depend upon and, ultimately, job losses.”

He noted SEPTA relies on formula funding from the Moving Ahead for Progress act to cover more than half of its capital budget and needs steady investment from the federal government to maintain the agency’s infrastructure and replace outdated buses and rail cars.

“A series of extensions of MAP-21 would only cause further uncertainty to transit agencies like SEPTA,” he concluded.

“I look forward to working with you to develop and pass a long-term reauthorization bill.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Wellbeing

Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

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.…