SEPTA Can’t Wait for 2015. Pass Original SB1 Now.

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Michael Noda reminds us that SB1 falls well short of what SEPTA needs over the next decade, but that even this can’t wait until 2015. I’m posting this in full because of the urgency:

OK, this post is now 48 hours overdue, but mostly because I have no idea what is going on with Majority Leader Turzai’s sudden move to bring the SB1 transportation funding bill to the floor of the House. And as far as I can tell, nobody who knows is talking.

But here’s what I do know: SB1 is projected to bring in an additional $2.5B/year in transportation revenue, which works out to about $400M/year to SEPTA. In a comment on another message board, I ran the numbers:

$400M/year is $4B over ten years, which is the doomsday plan horizon.

From Jeff Knueppel’s presentation slides on unfunded capital needs to the SEPTA board:

Bridges and tunnels round to $1.3B
Power is another $0.6B
Shops are another $0.3B
Track is another $0.7B

That gets us to $2.9B. We still haven’t bought vehicles.

Current budgeting for replacement LRVs is $1.0B and the Silverliner VIs are $1.4B. One of those is more urgent and fits in the budget presented. Goodbye, Silverliner VIs.

That leaves $100M over 10 years for overruns, rounding errors, business cycle risk, PTC-style federal mandates, and Everything Else. If that money actually exists, you might be able to split that 50/50 between a new electric loco fleet, and overhauls of the [coaches], which means you can keep the push-pulls running and providing meager but adequate service on your four-line Regional Rail system, but you still lose the other nine lines when the Silverliner IVs retire.

Oh, right, and there are no improvements, no expansions.

Anybody want to check my math here?

There’s been rumors that Democrats in the House are going wobbly on SB1 because they expect Turzai to pull a fast one, or because they think they can get a better deal done in 2015. SEPTA cannot wait for 2015. If you are calling your state Rep, do so regardless of their party affiliation, and insist that half a loaf now is better than no loaf for eighteen months.

It’s go time. Start calling and e-mailing your PA State Reps. Right now. If you don’t know who your State Rep is or how to contact them, that’s what this link is for. Time to move.

This entry was posted in Miscellany.

7 Responses to SEPTA Can’t Wait for 2015. Pass Original SB1 Now.

  1. Robert Allen says:

    SEPTA wastes huge sums of money each year on projects that don’t grow ridership or contribute to sustaining the system. A few examples are electronic message boards at subway and train stations that seldom display any information of use to the riders. Then there were millions diverted to bus terminal projects which contributed nothing to providing better facilities than what riders already had.

    SEPTA is a bottomless pit of waste. Its time to shut it down and look for a new model that provides service to the state instead of the current system that sucks the state dry.

    • LOL!! How about all the subsidies for the roads? Or those don’t count?

    • Roy says:

      Uh, no. Those message boards display next to arrives, and alerts, and probably go for about 200 a piece, you pathetic lowlife. SEPTA invests every dollar very wisely. Not every decision will turn out perfect but you can’t cut your way to Billions. They are a very good stewart of tax dollars and have been for many years. You’re in the dark and need to go jump in the Schuylkill.

    • Tim says:

      The 5 counties in southeastern PA respresent 40% of the state economy and contribute 40% of the state’s tax base, but only collect 33% of the outlays.

      Who’s sucking who dry?

    • Michael Noda says:

      Your attempt at trolling was going so well, until you decided to launch off against the electronic track monitors, which are a critical piece of passenger-facing customer service and return hundreds if not thousands of times their own value. Sadly for you, it was at this point everyone realized your comment was a word stew, attempting to play buzzword bingo.

      Better luck next time.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      SEPTA wastes a lot of money on stuff like parking lots, but I don’t agree the items you listed are waste.

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