SEPTA Board approves FY25 budget

June 28, 2024
The $1.74 billion Operating Budget and $924 million Capital Budget will help SEPTA fund everyday operations and advance major improvement projects, as well as assumes the passage of Pennsylvania Gov. Shapiro’s $283 million statewide transit funding proposal.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Board approved the agency’s Operating and Capital Budget proposals for Fiscal Year (FY) 2025, advancing plans to fund everyday operations and major improvement projects. SEPTA’s total budget is $2.6 billion for Fiscal Year 2025 – a $1.74 billion Operating Budget and $924 million Capital Budget.

The authority is projecting a $240 million deficit this year due to the exhaustion of federal COVID-19 relief funding and SEPTA’s budget assumes passage of Pennsylvania Gov. Shapiro’s $283 million statewide transit funding proposal. If fully enacted, the plan – Pennsylvania’s first transit operating increase in more than a decade – would invest an additional $283 million annually to support vital transit service across the Commonwealth, including $161 million for SEPTA.

“The budget we passed today is built for the future and invests heavily in making SEPTA safe, clean and reliable for our customers, employees and the communities we serve,” said SEPTA Board Chair Kenneth E. Lawrence Jr. “The governor’s transit funding plan is critical to advancing these priorities and we continue to work with our delegation and legislative leaders to ensure that SEPTA can continue to deliver the service our region and the state need to remain competitive.”

SEPTA notes that additional state investment, coupled with a historic increase of $24 million in local match tied to it, would help SEPTA avoid devastating service cuts and fare increases that would severely impact mobility across southeastern Pennsylvania.

Operating Budget

The $1.74 billion Operating Budget doubles funding for safe, clean and secure initiatives since FY 22, providing a total of $72 million that includes funding for 40 more police officers, 30 more safety professionals and 100 more cleaners. The budget also continues the expansion of SEPTA Key Advantage, which now has more than 50 partners and 91,000 participants, as well as SEPTA’s Efficiency and Accountability Program, which has already realized $50.2 million in annual recurring benefits. The budget also funds increased Regional Rail service beginning in fall 2024, restoring service to 80 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels, highlighted by additional mid-day and weekend service.

Additionally, the budget reflects the reinstatement of parking fees, following four years of free parking offered to help attract customers back to the system. The SEPTA Board awarded a $12.3 million contract to Flowbird America Inc. to develop a new, state-of-the-art parking system that will streamline fee collection and improve customer convenience. Beginning in FY 25, daily parking rates at 135 SEPTA-owned surface lots will increase to $2 from $1 and to $4 from $2 at the three garages. The agency says the fees will help offset lot maintenance and remaining funds will help fill gaps in the Operating Budget. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, parking brought in $4.7 million in annual revenue to SEPTA.

Capital Budget and 12-year Capital Program

The $924 million Capital Budget is part of a $14 billion 12-year Capital Program, enabling the largest-ever investments in improved safety, cleanliness, and security. 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, this budget funds at least a partial replacement of each aging vehicle 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.

“With funding in place, SEPTA is poised to make historic investments in the infrastructure and vehicles that make our service possible,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “These investments will propel SEPTA forward and help continue to grow ridership – transforming SEPTA’s legacy system into a lifestyle network that is safe, clean, modern and accessible for all riders.”

The Capital Program advances several SEPTA Forward initiatives, including:

  • Trolley modernization: $1.98 billion for vehicle acquisition and infrastructure upgrades and a new signal system.
  • Market-Frankford Line railcar replacement: $1.2 billion for vehicle acquisition, infrastructure upgrades, and a new signal system. This procurement is supported by a recent $317 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration that is three times larger than any competitive grant that SEPTA has ever received.
  • Regional Rail fleet replacements: $859 million to initiate the replacement of 50-year-old railcars.
  • Wayfinding improvements: $40 million for signage, real-time information and website/mobile app upgrades.
  • Safety, cleanliness, resiliency and modernization: $5.4 billion to protect, modernize and maintain aging legacy assets.
  • Accessibility for all: $1.4 billion to provide full ADA accessibility at 45 Rail Transit & Regional Rail stations during the next 12 years. By the end of this 12-year program, 100 percent of subway/elevated and trolley stations will be ADA accessible.

SEPTA’s FY 25 Operating and Capital Budgets can be viewed here