Government Transportation

Federal Lawmakers Urge Support For SEPTA Amid Funding Crisis

Democratic federal lawmakers from Pennsylvania have requested federal assistance to address SEPTA’s $240 million deficit and prevent service cuts.

File photo.
Credit: Tom Sofield/

A group of Democratic federal lawmakers from Pennsylvania have sought intervention from the U.S. Department of Transportation to address a looming funding crisis for SEPTA.

The appeal follows a recent report by The Philadelphia Inquirer indicating SEPTA’s $240 million structural deficit is expected to be exacerbated by the absence of increased funding for the regional transit system that was left out of a state budget deal in December.

SEPTA serves the Philadelphia region and parts of Delaware and New Jersey and is reportedly considering significant service reductions across buses, subways, trolleys, and Regional Rail due to the possible funding shortfall, the newspaper reported.

U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, and the majority of the Philadelphia-area congressional delegation, all Democrats, issued a letter this week calling for the Biden administration and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to invest more federal dollars into SEPTA.

The letter pointed out the vital role of SEPTA in the southeastern Pennsylvania region, which accounts for 42 percent of the state’s economic activity and 38 percent of its tax base.

“SEPTA’s service is essential for the entire southeastern PA region, providing more than 700,000 daily trips throughout a five county, city and suburban territory. A high-quality transit system is essential to maintain growth and economic vitality, both downtown and throughout the region. We cannot ease congestion or reduce emissions without transit,” the letter stated.

The letter added: “How will we host major events in Pennsylvania, including 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in two years, without a viable transit system?”

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