The latest election will switch control over SEPTA from Republicans to Democrats for the first time in the transportation agency’s history, writes Jason Laughlin for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Earlier this week, Democrats won control of Chester, Delaware, and Bucks counties’ board of commissioners. This gives them the option of replacing the Republicans representing those counties on SEPTA’s board when their current terms expire.
The change will not happen before 2022 when Chester County’s commissioners will get a chance to appoint new SEPTA board members. Adding two Democrats to the board would give the party a three-vote majority.
However, it is still too soon to say how this change could affect SEPTA’s daily riders, including those in Montgomery County.
Helen Gym, Philadelphia City Council member who has been critical of SEPTA, is hoping the change in leadership could usher in a new vision that would reverse a five-year trend of declining ridership.
“Public transit has an enormous role to play getting people to jobs, education, and schools,” said Gym. “I really do hope that a Democratic SEPTA leadership will be more responsive to that than what we’ve seen in the past.”
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