SEPTA Warns of Cascading Cutbacks as State Funding Runs Out

By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Septa is trying to convince the state it needs more money to upgrade its system or it could mean major cutbacks in regional rails, trolleys, even subway service, beginning next year.

Septa says it needs $6.5 billion over the next ten years to improve crumbling railroad bridges, outdated rail cars, and substations that are 80 years old.

General manager Joseph Casey told the state legislature’s Transportation Committee that drastic cuts in service would be the result of years of underfunding.

Septa spokeswoman Jerri Williams tells KYW Newsradio that if the state can’t come up with that money, drastic measures will need to be taken:

“Maybe suspending service on nine Regional Rail lines, truncating service on two Regional Rail lines, possibly suspending service on the Broad-Ridge spur, and eliminating all express service.  So we’re not just talking Regional Rail lines, we’re talking also our subways and our trolley lines.”

Without additional funding, Williams says, the cuts will begin next year with the end of the Cynwyd line, followed by cutting service on the heavily traveled Media-Elwyn line in 2015.

The Route 10 and Route 15 trolley lines could also be converted to buses by next year.

Williams says she hopes legislators are listening and realize how dire the situation is.

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