Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania public transit agencies’

SEPTA Increases Use of Social Workers

October 9, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will launch efforts to assist those who take refuge on its public transit system.

SEPTA plans to use social workers from Merakey Parkside Recovery, Eagle Staffing and One Day at a Time to assist those experiencing homelessness, addiction and mental illness.

The workers will expand the reach of SEPTA’s Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement program that began earlier this year.

The SEPTA Transit Police Department will assign a  officer with a social worker for patrols in order to provide additional resources.

SEPTA Seeks New Vision for Regional Rail

September 24, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority is seeking to create a new vision for its regional rail services.

The new vision is expected to be incorporated in the Philadelphia-based agency’s strategic plan for fiscal years 2021-2026.

Changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are figuring into the agency’s thinking about the future.

Before the pandemic, regional rail trains served 132,000 riders a day. But SEPTA researchers have found that many SEPTA riders are choosing SEPTA services that have higher fares, less frequent service and less accessibility rather than regional rail.

As currently constituted, regional rail is viewed by SEPTA as part of a lifestyle network of frequent, all-day and all-week services that connects people to a range of destinations across the region.

The project being undertaken by SEPTA, known as Reimagining Regional Rail, will consider infrastructure, equipment, operations and policies as it creates a new vision for the service.

The first phase of the project will seek to “better understand what works well, and not so well,” with Regional Rail, and set goals.

SEPTA will seek comment from current, past and potential riders as well as operators, staff and other stakeholders.

“These conversations will help our region identify a long-term vision, as well as shorter-term improvements to services, schedules and fare polices that make Regional Rail more convenient,”  SEPTA officials said.

The agency has created and launched a survey to get views on how often trains should run; what mix of express and local service there should be; how stations should be designed; how regional rail should connect to rapid transit, trolleys, buses and other rail service; and how fares should be integrated with other transit services.

The second phase of the project will get underway this winter and next spring. During that phase, SEPTA plans to develop options and seek public comment on them.

The third phase will be undertaken in summer and fall 2022 and focus on finishing the regional rail vision and creating a plan to implement it.

SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richard said nothing is off limits.

 “We are rethinking frequency, route lengths, fares, connections to buses and rail transit and more—all in the name of making Regional Rail more useful to more people,” she said.

SEPTA Increasing Rail Service Next Week

September 1, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said it will increase service across its system next week.

New schedules for buses, trolleys and high-speed rail went into effect Aug. 29 and 30 while new regional rail schedules will become effective on Sept. 5.

SEPTA said overall service will increase to 93 percent of pre-COVID levels. High-frequency bus and trolley routes will operate at pre-COVID levels.

 Parking at regional rail stations will continue to be free through October, and closed station sales offices will reopen by the first week in September.

Pa. Transit Agencies Seek More Funding

July 14, 2021

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.