SEPTA's board approved a $1.28 billion operating budget Thursday that does not raise fares or reduce service


The fiscal year 2013 spending plan represents nearly a 3 percent increase over the current fiscal year, largely due to increases in health care, prescriptions and claims.


The board also approved a $303 million capital budget, which is down 25 percent from three years ago due to reductions in state funding. SEPTA again has deferred improvement projects, including repairs to its bridges and infrastructure, as a result of the funding constraints.


And while passengers get a break this year, things will change starting in July 2013. The authority expects to raise fares and could consider service reductions to deal with a projected $38 million deficit.