By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — SEPTA officials are looking to give the Center City subway concourses a much needed makeover.

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Since 1968 those Center City underground concourses have been Philly-owned, not SEPTA-owned. So, for decades it’s been the city’s responsibility to keep them clean and fix things up.

But, a tentative lease agreement would shift that to SEPTA. GM Joe Casey says they’re looking to spend much more than the $1.3 million the city’s been spending each year.

“We will absorb that and we have a plan now, a capital program that we’re developing that we think is probably in the order of $40-$50 million that we will invest in those facilities,” he said.

He says it’s more than cleaning up. It’s installing cameras and better lighting and possibly getting retail development.

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Matt Mitchell with the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers says it means a better first impression for those suburbanites or tourists.

“If they get a positive impression of Center City Philadelphia, that positive impression starts with the concourses,” Mitchell said. “Then they’re likely to come back again and do more business in Center City and that’s good business for everybody.”

The deal still needs City Council and the SEPTA board’s approval.


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