SEPTA proposed budget contains small increase

    Philadelphia’s transit agency is seeking a three point three percent increase in this year’s budget, but will not raise fares or cut service. SEPTA officials say their proposal is modest, and accounts for rising healthcare costs.

    Philadelphia’s transit agency is seeking a three point three percent increase in this year’s budget, but will not raise fares or cut service. SEPTA officials say their proposal is modest, and accounts for rising healthcare costs.

    Transcript:
    Despite the faltering economy, SEPTA appears to be on relatively sound financial footing. That’s thanks, in part, to dedicated state funding through the recently passed Act 44. It’s also due to steady increases in ridership, including an expected two point seven percent bump this year.
     
    But SEPTA is negotiating a new contract with its largest union, which is calling for wage and pension increases. SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney says while negotiations continue, officials are trying to plan for whatever a new contract might contain.

    Maloney: “We have to see what the contract’s going to be. We hope we can fairly well project what the future is going to be, but obviously, with the cost of labor, that has to be negotiated.”

    Anticipating a rise in healthcare costs, SEPTA has budgeted more than five percent extra in that area. SEPTA’s board is expected to vote on the budget in May.

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    [audio: reports20090330septa.mp3]

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