Despite an historically harsh winter that saw storms shut down schools, businesses and government offices on multiple occasions, passengers took more than 330 million trips on SEPTA buses, trains and trolleys last year – the fifth highest total since 1989, according to Fiscal Year 2014 numbers released today. Fiscal Year 2014 was the 12-month period from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
FY 2014 also marked the 15th consecutive year in which SEPTA operated with a balanced budget, overcoming $7 million in additional costs due to the winter weather. SEPTA carefully managed expenses throughout the year, including aggressive efforts to combat fraudulent lawsuits.
Even with the winter weather disruptions, SEPTA set a new record for Regional Rail ridership with 36.7 million trips in FY 2014 – an increase of nearly 2 percent compared to FY 2013.
Regional Rail ridership is a significant part of the upward trend on all SEPTA modes of travel in recent years. System-wide, total annual trips are up by approximately 40 million since 2006.
"SEPTA is accommodating the increasing demand for service while remaining a careful steward of the funding it receives from taxpayers, fares and other revenues,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph M. Casey. “We look forward to the long-needed improvements for customers that are now possible thanks to Act 89, which will position SEPTA to meet customers’ needs moving forward.”
Act 89, the long-term, statewide transportation funding solution passed by the state Legislature and signed by Gov. Corbett last November, is allowing SEPTA to embark on its “Catching Up” program to tackle a $5 billion backlog of projects. This includes work on critical infrastructure such as power substations, bridges, track, maintenance facilities and passenger stations. SEPTA is also beginning the process to replace trolleys and Regional Rail cars that are well past their useful service lives, while also expanding capacity to address ridership growth and improving accessibility.