SEPTA budget issues persist

Oct. 23

By Anthony Campisi
For PlanPhilly

Economic troubles continue to impact SEPTA’s bottom line, according to a financial report released at the authority’s monthly meeting on Thursday.

Passenger revenue for the first quarter of fiscal year 2010 was $4.9 million, or 5.1 percent, worse than the approved budget. The authority’s cumulative deficit for that period was $5 million.

All but one of SEPTA’s service divisions performed worse than budget projections.

Previous SEPTA budget coverage

The Regional Rail Division saw a $34.7 million deficit before subsidies, 7.6 percent worse than budget projections, with passenger revenues $1.8 million, or 5.8 percent worse than budget.

The City Transit Division saw a deficit before subsidies of $114.9 million, which was 2 percent worse than budget. Passenger revenue was $2.9 million, or 4.8 percent, worse than budget.

The Frontier Division, which provides service from the Norristown Transportation Center and to eastern Bucks County, reported a quarterly deficit before subsidies of $5.5 million, 8.5 percent worse than budget.

The Victory Division, which provides suburban bus and trolley service from 69th Street Terminal, reported a quarterly deficit before subsidies of $14.4 million, 0.3 percent better than budget. Though passenger revenue was 3.1 percent worse than expected over the quarter, the division’s operating expenses were less than budgeted.

SEPTA CFO and treasurer Richard Burnfield attributed the losses to a weak regional economy and high unemployment, which is causing a decrease in commuters.

In other business, the board appointed Boston Millennium Health Partners ( to manage $5 million for SEPTA’s pension funds. The firm focuses on innovative health care companies and products.

The board also approved a series of contracts sent to it by SEPTA’s operations and administration committees (

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