On Wednesday, April 18, SEPTA will present the economic impact of its transit services and infrastructure investments to the Bucks County Commissioners.
A recently released report by Econsult Solutions, Inc. found that southeastern Pennsylvania is the economic engine of the Commonwealth, generating 41 percent of the state’s economic activity with 32 percent of its population – on just 5 percent of its land. Between 2010 and 2016, Southeastern Pennsylvania grew by 81,565 residents, helping the state grow by 71,884 people. According to Econsult, this degree of economic productivity and density is not possible without SEPTA services, which provide residents with efficient, affordable and reliable options to move throughout the region.
Each year, SEPTA’s Operations and Capital Program generate $2.93 billion in economic activity across the region, including $228 million in Bucks County. Examples of SEPTA’s economic impact in the county include:
- The ongoing reconstruction of Levittown Station in Tullytown Borough, which will make Levittown Station fully accessible for all customers. The project includes new full length high-level platforms; a new station building; a new pedestrian overpass complete with elevators; and enhanced bus connectivity to improve traffic flow and safety for motorists and pedestrians through the station and parking areas.
- Accessibility improvements to Yardley Station in Yardley Borough. When completed later this spring, Yardley Station will have a new high-level boarding platform, ADA compliant pathways, two open-air shelters, and improved customer amenities.
- The successful launch last October of new Direct Bus service – connecting Neshaminy Mall and Neshaminy Interplex with Frankford Transportation Center and the Market-Frankford Line. This service enhancement has attracted 14 percent more riders compared to existing services covering this area.
Overall, the impact of SEPTA’s Capital Program has grown by 70 percent since the passage of Act 89, which provided the first-ever source of reliable, sustainable, dedicated funding for infrastructure investments to rebuild the system.
“Thanks to the efforts of the region’s legislative delegation to enact Act 89 in 2013, SEPTA has the resources necessary to rebuild their aging infrastructure and address its infrastructure state of good repair backlog,” said Board of Bucks County Commissioners Vice Chairman Charles H. Martin, who also serves as a SEPTA Board member. “Regional Rail service in Bucks County is an important economic and quality of life driver. We are pleased to see SEPTA making significant investments in its infrastructure and rail vehicles that will enhance service for County residents.”
SEPTA’s full economic impact in southeastern Pennsylvania goes beyond job creation and economic activity alone.
Econsult’s report quantified the extent to which SEPTA’s rail system increases property values. The report analyzed 315,115 suburban residential property transactions between 2005 and 2016 and found that access to SEPTA’s Regional Rail and Norristown High Speed Line adds $14.5 billion, or 7.4 percent, to suburban residential property value. In Bucks County, SEPTA’s rail system is worth $2.9 billion, or 7 percent of total value. This added value supports a property tax base that funds schools and municipal services across the county. For example, SEPTA service increases residential property values on average:
- $30,692 for houses within three miles of Yardley Station
- $29,036 for houses within three miles of Woodbourne Station
- $23,608 for houses within three miles of Chalfont Station
- $22,789 for houses within three miles of Croydon Station
SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel will provide further details about the study at the 10 a.m. Bucks County Board of Commissioners Meeting on Wednesday, April 18. Knueppel will also be available to talk to reporters after the meeting.
For more information about SEPTA’s economic impact, including an interactive map of property value impacts, please visit: https://www.septa.org/economic-impact.