Pa. Transit Agencies Seek More Funding

Pennsylvania public transit agencies are trying to prod the state legislature to create new sources of funding.

The agencies, including the Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, are acting ahead of plans to reduce funding transit agencies funding by the Pennsylvania Turnpike system.

The turnpike currently contributes $450 million annually to public transit but plans to reduce that to $50 million as part of a bid to reduce its $11 billion in debt.

Turnpike officials say they’ve had to reduce capital projects in order to pay the transit agencies.

One new source of revenue for transit agencies is a tax and use fees on vehicle purchases slated to go in effect in 2023.

However, transit agencies want the state to issuing bonds whose funds will be used as collateral to address current needs, and allow local governments to raise taxes or fees specifically for transit.

SEPTA said it faces a backlog of $6.4 billion for state-of-good-repair projects, including equipment replacement.

Without additional funding, SEPTA officials say it will take 20 years to catch up on repairs.

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