SEPTA Is Feeling a $1M Per Day COVID-19 Financial Pinch

Bailey Dickerson
With ridership down by nearly 80 percent due to the coronavirus pandemic and related restrictions, SEPTA is losing $1 million a day. Image via Fox29.

With ridership down by 70 to 80 percent due to COVID-19, SEPTA is feeling a significant financial pinch, writes Kelly Rule for FOX 29.

Coupled with the expenses from responding to the pandemic, this drop in ridership is causing the transportation authority to lose $1 million a day.

“We can only provide the service that we can pay for,” said SEPTA’s General Manager, Leslie Richards.

Still, SEPTA is so far planning to make no changes to its services even with the new restrictions in Philadelphia.

Richards emphasized that this issue goes beyond the operational side. It involves the capital side of SEPTA, or whether state and local funders who are responsible for subsidizing SEPTA will decide if it will receive any federal relief.

If the answer is no, “we will have to make cuts,” she said. “We will have to look at service. We will have to look at potential layoffs. It’s about being able to pay people for the work that they do and if we don’t have the money to do that, we have to make some difficult choices.”

But until any decisions are made, SEPTA is informing riders that public transit is safe and encouraging them to use it.

Read more about SEPTA at FOX 29 here.