Jan 17: Transportation roundup: SEPTA funding crisis | Corbett’s transpo funding plan | University Ave Bridge open | DRPA toll/fare study | vintage street signage

Good morning! It’s going to be another gloomy, chilly day today, and there is small chance of snow overnight. (Remember snow?) For today’s Buzz, here’s a transportation news roundup:

At budget meetings this week SEPTA declared a capital funding crisis, which if nothing changes could lead to shrinking parts of the system, reports PlanPhilly’s Christine Fisher. SEPTA cannot afford to operate and maintain its critical infrastructure with its annual capital budget of about $300 million. That means service reductions, higher operating costs, less ridership, and lower revenue could lie ahead.

Governor Corbett is expected to release his transportation funding plan next week, expected to raise nearly $2 billion annually for the state’s roads, bridges and transit systems, the AP reports. The plan would raise necessary funds by “removing a statutory cap on the oil company franchise tax” (a move which requires legislative approval). “The per-gallon tax is applied up to an average wholesale price of $1.25, and administration officials say lifting the cap could produce $1.9 billion a year.”

PennDOT reopened the beautiful University Avenue Bridge on Wednesday, a week ahead of schedule. The 80-year-old bridge has been closed for the last two weeks for maintenance and repair.

The Delaware River Port Authority will consider different toll structures for its different bridges, the Inquirer reports. Since 2007 DRPA’s toll revenue has declined as more commuters choose public transit or lower-priced river crossings. Right now it costs $5 for cars to cross the Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Walt Whitman, and Commodore Barry Bridges, but maybe the less-traveled bridges (Betsy Ross and Commodore Barry) should cost less to spread the traffic out? Should E-ZPass holders get a discount? DRPA is also going to study different PATCO fare structures.

In a city as old as Philadelphia, street names have evolved over time. But, look up and you just might see a street’s former name living on in a carved stone block, set in a building’s masonry walls near the corner. Hidden City Daily’s Peter Woodall shares selections from his photographs of these holdover signs.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.

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