Philly councilman wants to sell off El, subway to SEPTA

Technically, the City of Philadelphia owns the Broad Street subway line.  A city councilman says it’s time to renegotiate SEPTA’s lease. 

Councilman Wilson Goode says it’s time SEPTA pays its fair share for the city-owned portions of the Market-Frankford El and Broad Street line.  A lease for the two lines to the transit agency goes back to 1968.

“The city actually owns the Broad Street Subway, we actually own half of the El Trains,” said Goode.  “We own several pieces of infrastructure along with the franchise rights.  I think as we look at asset sales for the city, we need to look at all of our assets and we need to put them on the table and generate revenue from them.”

SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney says it doesn’t really make financial sense for the transit agency to buy the subways.

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“People have to realize the financial realities of operating the El and Broad Street, that it costs almost exactly twice as much to run the lines as the revenue that it generates,” said Maloney.  “No for-profit business would do that.”

Maloney says SEPTA uses mostly state dollars to offset the money it loses running the subways.

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