SEPTA has finally come up with a plan to fix its damaged railcars, ut what about paying for it and the revenue lost as fewer people are riding regional rail trains.
When you add up lost ticket and pass sales and the cost of renting replacement trains, SEPTA’s General Manager Jeff Knueppel says it’s going to cost more than a million dollars a month until the flawed railcars are back.
“It started at the beginning of our fiscal year, we’re already doing belt tightening and things that we can to work and get this budget situation under control for us so we have the whole year to do it,” he said.
SEPTA says it plans to return to a normal schedule in October, but it will take until November to get all of the 120 cars repaired and back on track. Knueppel is quick to point out that the cars are under warranty from the manufacturer Hyundai/Rotem, so the repair costs are covered.
Under its contract with Hyundai/Rotem, SEPTA is entitled to liquidated damages set at $200 per out-of-service railcar per day. That adds up to $720,000 a month.
When asked how much of the damages will be covered, he replied: “The lawyers will be busy.”