SEPTA Statement on Passage of the Pennsylvania Fiscal 2004 Budget

PHILADELPHIA – The passage of the Fiscal 2004 Pennsylvania state budget restores a 6 percent cut in SEPTA subsidies ($15 million), but does not alleviate the need for greater state support for public transit in the Commonwealth.

“Passage of the 2004 budget essentially returns SEPTA to where we were last January,” said SEPTA Board Chair Pasquale T. Deon, Sr. “But we are facing an immediate $70-million dollar deficit going into the next budget year.

“With the prolonged budget struggle hopefully over, there is the expectation that state government will quickly address the fundamental issue of providing a long term and predictable source of subsidies for SEPTA and transit agencies statewide. In recent years, SEPTA has reduced expenses and tightened service as much as possible. Without substantial state support in both the near and long term, our ability to provide present transit services will be jeopardized,” Deon added.

“We are confidant that Governor (Edward G.) Rendell and legislative leaders are fully aware of the continuing crisis in the funding of public transportation in Pennsylvania, and with the coming of the New Year, SEPTA is anxious to work with them to finally enact a permanent solution.”