Newly Approved SEPTA Budget Aims to Draw Back Montco Riders with Increased Rail, Subway, Bus Service

Image via Montgomery County Planning Commission.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority approved a new $1.5 billion budget last week that aims to draw back ridership after more than a year of drastically reduced numbers with increased rail, subway, and bus service, writes Thomas Fitzgerald for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

SEPTA will rely on federal pandemic aid to offset the drop in fare revenue and bump up the frequency of its Regional Rail service by the fall to around 60 percent of pre-pandemic levels. This should allow a return to around 96 percent of the normal schedule on transit, which includes buses, subways, trolleys, and the Norristown High Speed Line.

No fare increases for riders are planned for this fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30, 2022. A plan to spend $619 million on capital projects during next year along with a total of $7.4 billion through 2033 also receiving the green light.

“We have a lot to be optimistic about moving forward, thank God,” said SEPTA Chairman Pasquale Deon. “Finally. The city and the region are reopening; riders are returning to commute to work and go to restaurants.”

Read more about the SEPTA budget in The Philadelphia Inquirer.