Shapiro rides SEPTA’s regional rail to promote proposed $282 million increase in public transit funding

SEPTA

Gov. Josh Shapiro riding a SEPTA regional rail car in the Philadelphia suburbs on May 16, 2024. (Photo: Commonwealth Media Services)

By Sean Kitchen

May 17, 2024

Gov. Josh Shapiro rode SEPTA’s regional rail on Thursday to promote his $282 million budget increase for public transit. The increase comes at a time when SEPTA is facing critical budget deficits.

Gov. Josh Shapiro traveled through the Philadelphia suburbs via Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority’s (SEPTA) regional rail on Thursday to promote public transit funding in his proposed budget.

Shapiro is calling for a $282 million increase in public transit spending for the upcoming year and a $1.5 billion spending increase over the next 5 years.

“Pennsylvanians deserve clean, safe, on-time public transit – and our growing economy demands it. SEPTA is a critical provider of the essential connections that Pennsylvanians rely on daily – and my Administration has been working with SEPTA to address the unique safety and cleanliness challenges they face,” Shapiro said in a statement.

The proposed funding increase comes at a time when SEPTA, which serves Southeastern Pennsylvania, is facing a $240 million budget deficit. SEPTA would receive $161 million from the state, which will help delay service cuts.

“SEPTA is grateful for the support of Gov. Shapiro, who has proposed an historic investment for public transportation across the Commonwealth,” SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards said in a statement.

“For SEPTA, this funding will ensure that SEPTA can provide the reliable service that hundreds of thousands of customers rely on every day. It will also allow us to hire dozens of new police officers and bolster efforts to ensure we are providing a safe, secure and clean system for our riders and workforce.”

SEPTA has received over $1 billion in federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help plug budget gaps and make critical infrastructure upgrades across the transit agency.

Earlier this year, the agency received $317 million from the infrastructure law to purchase 200 new rail cars for the Market-Frankord line, and in 2023, SEPTA was awarded $100 million for zero-emission buses and trolley upgrades in Southwest Philadelphia.

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

CATEGORIES: INFRASTRUCTURE
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