SEPTA’s Board today approved Operating and Capital Budget proposals for Fiscal Year 2023, advancing plans to fund everyday operations and major improvement projects. SEPTA’s fiscal year covers the 12-month period from July 1 through June 30.
The $1.61 billion Operating Budget includes fare enhancements designed to boost ridership post-COVID and allows for the expansion of SEPTA Key Advantage, the Authority’s new institutional pass program. SEPTA Key Advantage allows participating institutions to acquire SEPTA Key cards directly from the authority and distribute them to employees. While Phase I is underway with Drexel University, Penn Medicine, and Wawa, SEPTA’s Board approved a tariff change to make the program permanent and expand the availability of SEPTA Key Advantage to additional organizations. More information on how other institutions can sign up for the program will be made available next month.
The new “Neighborhood FleX DayPass”, intended for riders traveling shorter distances on Regional Rail, will be introduced this fall. The pass will cost $10, and it can be used for up to 10 rides on buses, subways, trolleys, and up to any Zone 2 Regional Rail stations for a single day. The existing One Day Independence Pass will be renamed the “Anywhere FleX DayPass”.
There will be no fare increases, and riders will continue to benefit from fare adjustments enacted during the pandemic, including one free transfer per trip on Transit modes and free rides for children 11 and under. In addition, select fares will decrease beginning July 1, including the One Day Convenience Pass from $9 to $6, and the Three Day Convenience Pass from $18 to $15.
The Capital Budget is a record-breaking plan – the first to break the billion-dollar mark, while the 12-Year Program represents SEPTA’s largest-ever investment in the system at $11.4 billion. Guided by SEPTA Forward, the Authority’s Strategic Plan, this historic investment advances several initiatives, such as Bus Revolution, King of Prussia Rail, Trolley Modernization, and rail fleet replacements – the largest source of SEPTA’s State of Good Repair needs. It also brings full ADA accessibility to the Market-Frankford and Broad Street Lines by 2034.
The Capital Program will transform SEPTA’s legacy system into a lifestyle network that can be easily used for any type of trip – not just traditional 9-to-5 commutes to work. With travel trends changing post-COVID, SEPTA is making transit more useful for more people.
Thanks to new and expanded funding sources, this Capital Program reflects a strong commitment to transit. The recently-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), newly-bondable state funding, and federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) funds flexed to SEPTA from regional partners form the core of this budget.
“We are grateful to elected leaders at the local, state, and federal level for their commitment to advancing these funding sources,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon Sr. “They understand the importance of investing in public transportation.”
“The transition of state funding to a sustainable and bondable source allows us to issue bonds to support critical capital investments, while we also pursue new competitive grant opportunities made available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said SEPTA General Manager and CEO Leslie S. Richards. “This will help us to build a region that is equitable, sustainable, and prosperous for everyone.”