SEPTA’s public budget meetings begin Wednesday

SEPTA begins public hearings this week on its proposed budget for the coming year.

The first of a ten meetings in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties will take place in Doylestown on Wednesday.

SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch says riders are encouraged to attend.

“Whether they have a question about something specific in the budget or just want to give their input about what they may think about something that’s in the operating budget, we’ll listen to those comments and provide answers to anything that we can,” Busch said. The agency’s financial officers will be on hand.

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This year’s budget does not include the kind of controversial route changes or a fare hike that have led to big turnouts for past budget hearings.

The spending plan has room for salary and benefit increases still under negotiation with SEPTA’s largest union.  That union’s contract expired last month, but so far talks have been going well enough that workers have not threatened to strike.

The proposed budget of $1.33 billion represents a 3 percent increase over this year. Upon approval by SEPTA’s board, it would go into effect on July 1st.

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