PHILADELPHIA >> A budget proposal for SEPTA’s upcoming fiscal year projects an increase in spending by the regional transit authority, but no fare hike on any of its bus, train or trolley routes.
The $1.36 billion spending plan is just under 3 percent more than the current year budget, and it includes no cuts to service, instead adding overnight rail options. The plan calls for 24-hour weekend service on the Broad Street Line and the Market-Frankford Line, a pilot program begun this year that will be made permanent.
Most of the authority’s revenues will come from passengers, estimated to equal $483.7 million, or 90 percent of SEPTA’s total operating income. Subsidies from federal, state and local sources account for more than half of the budget. More than $650 million will come from the state, much of it from the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Trust Fund. Local subsidies, including mandated matches of some state contributions, amount to $93.7 million from the five participating counties.
Delaware County will be on the hook for $8.6 million of the total local subsidy contribution, about 8.6 percent. The Victory Division, which includes 21 bus routes, two trolley lines and the Norristown High Speed Line that run through Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties, receives most of Delco’s contribution.
Labor and benefit spending account for 72 percent of the budget, with $984 million in costs. An additional 70 employees are called for in the spending plan.
The 2016 fiscal year begins July 1, 2015 and runs through June 30, 2017.
Public hearings on the budget proposal are scheduled for each of the five metropolitan counties serviced by SEPTA. Delaware County residents can offer input on Wednesday, April 22, during hearings beginning at 2 p.m. 6 p.m. in the County Council Meeting Room of the Delaware County Government Center, 201 W. Front St., Media.
Those wishing to file written comments can forward them to the Office of the General Manager, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, 1234 Market St., 10th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19107 by April 29, 2015. Comments can also be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEPTA’s board of directors will vote on the budget proposal at its monthly meeting in May.