By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Leaders of the nation’s transit agencies, including Septa, are meeting in Washington, DC, in part to lobby Congress for more funding.

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The American Public Transit Association says 2013 saw about 10.7 billion rides on commuter bus and rail, the highest number since 1956.

Septa general manager Joseph Casey says his agency’s passenger traffic is higher, too.

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“We’re carrying about 340 million trips, which is about 14 percent higher over the last seven years,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “And the Regional Rail has been unbelievable.  The last 15 years they had an increase of about 50 percent.”

Which is certainly a success story but creates a need for new rail cars, more parking, and upgraded infrastructure from bridges to power systems.

Casey says Pennsylvania is ponying up capital improvement money through last year’s transportation bill (see related story), and the conference in DC is to pressure for federal dollars.

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