SEPTA gets Google Transit

; bad budget news

Google Transit will be coming to SEPTA’s bus fleet next week, SEPTA general manager Joe Casey said at the authority’s monthly board meeting on Nov. 19.

Though Google Transit has provided information about SEPTA trolley and regional rail stops since it first went live over the summer, riders have had to wait for the authority to finish programming geographic information on SEPTA bus stops and routes.

Once that process is finished, the entire SEPTA network will be accessible on Google Transit, which allows users to plan trips using public transportation in cities throughout the world.

The board also received a financial report showing that SEPTA’s finances continued to be hit by the poor economy in October.

The authority had an operating deficit after subsidies of $1.6 million and a cumulative fiscal-year-to-date deficit of $6.7 million. Total operating revenue was 4.74 percent, or $1.8 million, worse than budgeted.

Passenger revenue for the month was 4 percent, or $1.4 million, worse than budgeted, while passenger revenue for the first four months of the fiscal year was 4.8 percent, or $6.3 million, less than budgeted.

Fiscal year-to-date passenger revenue for the City Transit Division was 4.5 percent, or $3.6 million, worse than budgeted. Passenger revenue for the fiscal year for the Regional Rail Division was 5.6 percent, or $2.3 million, worse than budgeted.

This news follows last month’s report, in which first quarter passenger revenue was 5.1 percent, or $4.9 million, below budget. SEPTA had a cumulative first-quarter deficit of $5 million. ( 

SEPTA CFO and treasurer Richard Burnfield again attributed the weaker-than-projected finances to the economic downturn, saying that ridership was down 4 percent for the fiscal year. In a bit of good news, he said that ridership was up slightly in October from previous months.

In other business, the board also approved a series of contracts sent to it by its administration and operations committees. (

Posted by Anthony Campisi. Contact the reporter at

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