SEPTA proposes $2.6 billion FY25 budget

April 19, 2024
The budget includes a $1.74 billion Operating Budget and a $922.8 million Capital Budget and assumes a proposed state funding plan will pass the General Assembly, along with a historic increase of $24 million in local match tied to it.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has proposed its $2.6 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2025, which includes a $1.74 billion Operating Budget and a $922.8 million Capital Budget.  

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s proposed $283 million annual statewide operating investment in public transportation, including $161 million for SEPTA, would be the state of Pennsylvania’s largest transit funding increase in more than a decade. SEPTA’s budget assumes the state funding plan passes the General Assembly as proposed, along with a historic increase of $24 million in local match tied to it, which would mean SEPTA will avoid devastating service cuts and fare increases that would cripple mobility across southeastern Pennsylvania. 

“With the additional funding in place, SEPTA is poised to make historic investments,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “These investments will propel SEPTA forward and help continue to grow ridership, with more than 700,000 daily customers representing 70 percent of pre-COVID-19 ridership levels – and climbing.” 

The $1.74 billion Operating Budget Proposal includes a doubling in funding for safe, clean and secure initiatives since FY 22 – a total of $72 million that includes funding for 40 more police officers, 30 more safety professionals and 100 more cleaners. The proposal also features the ongoing expansion of SEPTA Key Advantage, which now has 50 partners and 91,000 participants, as well as SEPTA’s Efficiency and Accountability Program, which has already recognized $50.2 million in annual recurring benefits. 

The $922.8 million Capital Budget Proposal is part of an all-time high $14 billion 12-year Capital Program, enabling the largest-ever investments in improved safety, cleanliness and security – supported by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The proposal includes new full-length fare gates to reduce fare evasion and new cleaning equipment to support the expanded cleaning staff. 

By the end of the 12-year program, SEPTA notes all Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line and Trolley trips will be through an accessible station – compared to 61 percent today. SEPTA continues to operate one of the oldest rail fleets in the country and for the first time, the budget funds at least a partial replacement of each aging fleet. The Broad Street Line, Market-Frankford Line and Trolley fleet replacements are all fully funded while the Regional Railcar fleet replacement is partially funded. 

SEPTA says the investments are bolstered by historic success in competitive grant programs, including a recent $317 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration to replace the Market-Frankford Line fleet, which is more than three times larger than any competitive grant that SEPTA has ever received. Since November 2021, SEPTA has secured $524.3 million of the $957 million in IIJA discretionary funding awarded to the region. 

“Despite higher-than-ever funding levels, SEPTA remains significantly below peer regions in annual transit capital investment,” Richards said. “Southeastern Pennsylvania is leaving money on the table. Additional local funding is needed as a match on the highly competitive federal grant opportunities that are available through the IIJA.” 

There will be four public hearings about the Operating Budget, with two hearing sessions on May 20 and two on May 21. There will be two public hearing sessions about the Capital Budget on May 22.  

The hearings will take place in-person at SEPTA Headquarters and virtually. The SEPTA Board will consider the proposals at its June meeting. If approved, they will go into effect with the start of FY 25 on July 1.