Posts Tagged ‘Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority’

SEPTA Rebranding Some Rail Services

September 10, 2021

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is eying a rebranding of some of its rail network, a move that would include giving the rail system its own herald.

SEPTA officials say this would make it easier for riders to use.

The rail system would be named SEPTA Metro. The move would affect rapid transit and trolley lines, but not the regional service lines.

SEPTA Metro would have improved station signs and use color-coded backgrounds with information on specific routes and white-on-black signs for system-wide messaging.

Officials said the new labels are designed to help visitors, those with limited English proficiency, and those seeking accessible entrances and exits.

The rebranding is projected to cost $40 million to be spent through June 30, 2023.

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.

SEPTA OKs Operating, Capital Budgets

June 30, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has approved a fiscal year 2022 operating budget of $1.52 billion operating budget and a $618.85 million capital budget.

The operating budget will allow SEPTA to increase service levels without fare increases.

Among the projects included in SEPTA’s capital budget and 12-year program, which totals $7.4 billion are:

• $203.66 million for trolley modernization through 2033, with $30.14 million set aside for FY22. Work includes infrastructure upgrades in areas such as communications, signals, power, ADA stations, bridge improvements and maintenance facilities.

• $97.3 million for rail fleet replacement through 2033, including trolley cars, the Market-Frankford Line fleet and Silverliner IV Regional Rail vehicles. For FY22, $1.76 million is budgeted.

• $25 million through 2033 for a Bus Revolution initiative, which includes a comprehensive bus network redesign.
• Station improvements to bring full ADA accessibility to the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines by 2033.

Pa. Transit Agencies to Increase Capacity

May 19, 2021

Public transit agencies in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are increasing the capacity of trains and buses at the end of this month.

Pittsburgh’s Port Authority of Allegheny County said it will increase light rail and bus capacity on May 31 and lift all limits on June 20.

Limits will rise from 25 to 35 at the end of May. “What we’ve heard is some businesses may be starting to have workers come back to their offices,” a Port Authority spokesman said. “We want to be prepared for that when it occurs.”

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will lift capacity limits on its trains and buses on June 1.

In a statement the agency said removing vehicle capacity limits to meet increased ridership demand is a major step in the region’s recovery.

The statement said that a mask requirement will remain in place.

SEPTA To Gradually Restore Suspended Service

April 26, 2021

Service restorations and a hiring freeze are highlights of the operating budget recently approved by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

SEPTA said the restoration of service suspended during theCOVID-19 pandemic would be gradual.

This includes restoration to 96 percent of pre-pandemic service for buses, subways, trolleys, and the Norristown High Speed rail line.

SEPTA officials said that by fall 80 percent of regional rail service will have been restored.

Bus service is currently at at about 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels while regional rail is at about 64 percent.

Aside from a hiring freeze SEPTA is making other cost cut as part of its $1.5 billion operating budget. The budget includes $368 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding.

The agency’s capital budget is expected to be announced this week.

SEPTA to Upgrade Station

April 21, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority said it will address critical safety, security and infrastructure needs along the Market-Frankford Line stations as well as work to improve its Allegheny Station.

The agency said it has addressed similar needs at the Somerset Station, including implementation of a new security plan.

Although Allegheny Station will remain open while work is performed, some early closures will occur three nights starting for about a week starting on April 23.

That will provide workers eight hours between closing and the morning reopening for intensive cleaning efforts, as well as maintenance and repair work.

SEPTA officials said the issues facing the Market-Frankford Line stations along the Kensington Avenue Corridor are complex and will involve short- and long-term solutions.

SEPTA Releases 5 Year Strategic Plan

March 2, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has approved a five-year strategic plan for fiscal years 2021 through 2026.

The plan will be used to guide the agency’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as well as establish a vision for future growth.

“The pandemic has highlighted the important role SEPTA has in providing access to essential jobs and services,” said SEPTA Chairman Pasquale Deon Sr. in a statement.

“SEPTA will be at the center of our region’s recovery efforts, and this plan will play a critical role in laying the foundation for that work.”

The plan lists challenges disrupting its work and lays out steps to be taken to provide safe, reliable and accessible transportation.

SEPTA Wants to Use Pandemic Relief Funds for Rail Extension Project

February 26, 2021

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority wants to use $40 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds to free up money for design and engineering work for its King of Prussia rail extension.

The 3.5-mile King of Prussia extension recently gained Federal Transit Administration approval of its final environmental impact review.

A SEPTA spokesman said redirecting the pandemic relief funds would not affect the agency’s ability to safely transport riders.

However, some transit advocates in the Philadelphia region expressed concern that the move could have an adverse effect on service levels.

SEPTA has proposed using the pandemic relief funds to pay for its lease of tracks owned by Amtrak.

SEPTA Opens Solar Power Farm

February 17, 2021

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has opened a 17.5-megawatt solar farm in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

In a news release, the transit agency said the Elk Hill 2 solar farm project was developed under a power purchase agreement between SEPTA and Lightsource to help reduce SEPTA’s carbon emissions.

It is one of two solar farms that SEPTA and Lightsource have developed in the past year.

Elk Hill 2 is expected to generate 27,377 MWh of  solar energy or nearly 10 percent of SEPTA’s 380,000 MWh per year electricity demand.

SEPTA said generation from a solar farm of this size and type can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19,360 metric tons of CO2 annually, the same as offsetting the emissions of 4,180 fuel burning cars each year.