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March 28, 2017

SEPTA proposes 12-year program in hopes of 'Rebuilding the System'

Transportation SEPTA
Stock_Carroll - SEPTA Market Frankford Train Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

A Market-Frankford Line train at 46th Street Station.

Integrating updated technology, renovating aging infrastructure and expanding rider capacity are key aspects of SEPTA's outlook for the next dozen years.

The transit agency unveiled a $727.2 million proposed budget for the next fiscal year and plans to further invest in its "Rebuilding the System" initiative over the next 12 years.

Nearly a third of SEPTA's 2018 capital budget is dedicated to vehicle acquisitions and overhauls. The agency has dedicated $241.6 million toward replacing some of the agency's outdated fleet with new equipment to optimize performance. SEPTA will spend $98.2 million for new buses, including 25 electric buses scheduled for delivery next year and 525 hybrid buses to be delivered over a five-year period. Preventative maintenance of existing vehicles will cost $76.1 million while new electric locomotives for Regional Rail will count $51.1 million on the budget.

The next largest chunk of the proposed budget is existing financial obligations. Leases to use Amtrak's rails and debt payments amount to $102.9 million.

The SEPTA Key, the agency's project to modernize the fare payment system, is the third-largest expenditure on the budget at $99.6 million. The money will allow crews to install card readers and kiosks across all modes of transit. Deployment on Regional Rail and CCT Connect Paratransit Services is slated to be launched in 2018.

Other capital investments include station improvements, parking upgrades, safety features and better communication systems.

SEPTA officials encourage riders and other residents to voice input about the proposed budget online and/or during public hearings. Those interested are invited to attend sessions on Wednesday, April 26 at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the agency's headquarters at 1234 Market Street in Center City.

Once public feedback is heard, SEPTA's board will vote on whether to approved the proposal. The vote is expected to take place on May 25.

To check out SEPTA's budget and 12-year plan, click here.