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SEPTA Budget Leaves Little Money For Repairs

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SEPTA's budget problems have put upgrade and repair projects on hold.

SEPTA’s budget problems have put upgrade and repair projects on hold.

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - SEPTA riders are not being asked to dole out for higher fares in the coming year, but the transit agency is warning that it is quickly running out of cash for station and equipment repairs and upgrades.

SEPTA’s operating budget for the coming fiscal year is in fairly good shape, says spokesman Richard Maloney, “We are proposing no fare increases or service cuts.”

But Maloney says the looming problem is the capital budget — money for a wide range of much-needed repairs.

“We have many outstanding projects we simply don’t have the money for,” he explains. “That’s going to be an increasing problem in the years to come.”

Capital funding was guaranteed by the state four years ago but that fell through when federal officials rejected the tolling of highway I-80.

“We have about twenty major projects which we have had to defer, due to the lack of capital funding: the City Hall station, overhead wires (for the regional rails), and electrical substations,” says Maloney.

The new budget calls for $311 million in capital spending, but officials say they have about four billion dollars in capital needs.

Public hearings on the SEPTA’s new capital and operating budgets are set for next month.  The schedule is at http://www.septa.org.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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