With a showdown looming in Harrisburg, SEPTA officials made a final pitch Thursday for millions more in state aid to avoid a “devastating” cutback in service.
A House vote is expected as early as next week on statewide transportation funding, and SEPTA says it is prepared to enact a doomsday plan to eliminate nine of its 13 rail lines, close a subway line, and convert all trolley routes to bus lines.
Deputy general manager Jeffrey Knueppel told the SEPTA board that old rail bridges, power stations, vehicles, and train stations could no longer be maintained and must be replaced.
Without more state funding for those capital needs, SEPTA will begin a “rational progression” of cutbacks over a decade, starting next year, Kneuppel said.
Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The final step toward Reading’s iconic Franklin Street Station once again serving passengers came in the form of a message.
BARTA officials arranged for the message to flash on the first bus to leave the station since its rebirth: “Thanks Dennis; You gave it all.”
It was for Dennis D. Louwerse, BARTA’s executive director, who died Thursday after 30 years leading the county transit agency.
“This is the culmination of a dream,” Ryan Furgerson, BARTA’s deputy executive director, said of the first bus departing from the former train station. “This is something Dennis would very much wanted to have seen.”
The cost of a bus or rail ride will increase Sunday.
Increases approved by the Port Authority board include 25 cents in the Zone 1 fare, to $2.50; 50 cents in the Zone 2 fare, to $3.75; and commensurate rises in the cost of weekly and monthly passes and 10-ticket strips. Riders can use old tickets but must pay the difference in cash.
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) will increase fares for trolleys, buses and the subway effective July 1, 2010.
The price of a bus / subway token will increase .10 cents to $1.55 from the current $1.45, the cost of a weekly transit pass will rise $1.25 to $22 from the current $20.75, and a monthly Zone 3 commuter rail pass will jump $12.50 to $155.00 versus $142.50. Transfers for subway, bus and trolley riders will increase to $1.00. Currently a transfer is .75 cents.
The vote was divided to increase fares, however, SEPTA representatives unanimously approved their $300,000,000.00 budget for the coming year.