Public Hearings / SEPTA Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget

PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTA will hold public hearings April 20-24 throughout the five-county service region on the proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget and Fiscal Years 2017-2021 Financial Projections.

SEPTA’s proposed Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2016, the 12-month period from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, is $1.36 billion, an increase of 2.84 percent over Fiscal Year 2015. The operating budget provides funding for the everyday costs of running the transit system, such as labor, fuel and power. The budget proposal maintains current SEPTA service levels, with no increase in fares.

Hearing Schedule:

DATE: Monday, April 20
TIME: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Bucks County Free Library, Pearl Buck Room
150 South Pine Street, Doylestown, PA.

DATE: Tuesday, April 21
TIME: 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
SEPTA Headquarters, Board Room-Mezzanine Level
1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA.

DATE: Wednesday, April 22
TIME: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Delaware County Courthouse, County Council Meeting Room-First Floor
201 West Front Street, Media, PA.

DATE: Thursday, April 23
TIME: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Montgomery County Human Services Center, Community Room-Main Floor
1430 Dekalb Street, Norristown, PA.

DATE: Friday, April 24
TIME: 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
West Chester Borough Hall, Council Chambers
401 East Gay Street, West Chester, PA.

For more information, go to the SEPTA Media Releases webpage.

Public Hearings / NJ Transit Fare & Service Proposal

NJ TRANSIT will hold nine scheduled public hearings and one information session beginning Saturday, May 16, 2015 to allow the public the opportunity to learn more about the proposed fare increases and service changes and offer comments before the plan is considered by the Board of Directors on July 8, 2015.

The proposed service and fare changes would take effect in September 2015 and on October 1, 2015, respectively. The proposed fare adjustment would be an average of 9 percent for the majority of NJ TRANSIT customers.

The dates and times of meeting locations most convenient to residents of southern New Jersey include:

DATE: Monday, May 18, 2015
TIME: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Atlantic City Rail Terminal – Lobby
One Atlantic City Expressway, Atlantic City, NJ

DATE: Tuesday, May 19, 2015
TIME: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Camden City Hall – Council Chambers (Floor 2)
520 Market Street, Camden, NJ

DATE: Thursday, May 21, 2015
TIME: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Trenton Transit Center
72 South Clinton Avenue, Trenton, NJ

For more hearing schedule information, go to the NJ TRANSIT Press Release webpage.

For more information on fare and service restructuring, go to the NJ TRANSIT Fare and Service Proposal webpage.

Public Hearings / SEPTA Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Budget

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will conduct public hearings in the SEPTA Board Room at SEPTA Headquarters, 1234 Market Street, Mezzanine Level, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107.

Date = Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Time = 11:30 A.M. and 5:00 P.M.

The purpose of the hearing is to consider the Authority’s proposed Fiscal Year 2016 Capital Budget and Fiscal Years 2016-2027 Capital Program and the projects contained therein for which financial assistance is being sought.

For more information, go to the SEPTA Notice of Public Hearing webpage.

30th Street Station District Plan Meeting

Amtrak, Drexel and their partners in the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan will host an open house this month to introduce the project to the public and solicit community input. The event is an opportunity for interested parties to learn about the project, meet the team, ask questions and provide input. The open house will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 28 on the main concourse at 30th Street Station from 4-7 p.m. There will be no formal presentation, but members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

The public is also invited to learn about the project by logging onto the recently-launched website, PhillyDistrict30. Here visitors can get the latest project information, sign up to receive project updates via e-mail, review news coverage and more.

The Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan is a joint planning effort focused on creating a single integrated vision for the area surrounding 30th Street Station. The goals of the plan center on concepts of community, connectivity and identity.

The effort is led by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University and SEPTA with support from a coordinating committee that includes a wide range of public and private agencies, area stakeholders and other interested parties.

(Courtesy: Drexel University)

NEC Future meeting schedule

NEC Future is a program of the Federal Railroad Administration. As stated online, “NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate, and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), from Washington, D.C. to Boston. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) launched NEC FUTURE in February 2012 to consider the role of rail passenger service in the context of current and future transportation demands. Through the NEC FUTURE program, the FRA will determine a long-term vision and investment program for the NEC, and provide a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Service Development Plan (SDP) in 2016 in support of that vision.”

This link – Open House Meetings, November 2014 – provides information about the schedule of upcoming meetings.

Tenetative aggreement reached between SEPTA and TWU 234

Media sources report that contract negotiations between SEPTA and TWU Local 234 have concluded with a tentative agreement reached late in the evening of Friday, October 31st. The pace of progress in the negotiations increased after the intercession of several power brokers occured, including Congressman Bob Brady (D-Philadelphia), who has been involved with past SEPTA-TWU negotiations. A ratification vote by TWU membership is expected to take place during the first full week of November.

As reported, the contract duration is two years, and leaves many of the larger issues (i.e. pension reform) unaddressed. Therefore, Transit Division riders may face the potential of another strike in 2016.

Potential SEPTA Transit Division Strike Looms – Again!

Employees of the SEPTA City Transit Divison, represented by Transport Workers Union Local 234 have been working without a contract since the expiration of multiple labor agreements earlier this year. News sources have indicated that the work stoppage could occur in early November. TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown has previously stated that the onset of a work stoppage will be announced 24 hours in advance. The atmosphere surrounding labor negotiations can be extremely fluid, however, and circumstances can change with limited prior notice.

This Link: Your SEPTA Strike Survival-Guide details transportation alternatives in the event of a work stoppage. As the situation develops, SEPTA customers should visit the SEPTA website for additional information. Riders are advised to remain aware of changing conditions that may occur without notice. The Regional Rail Division will continue to operate, but may be impacted by extra passengers and TWU activities.

In Memoriam: Ed Tennyson

On July 14th, Edson Leigh Tennyson, age 92, a transit industry professional, civil engineer and planner, passed away after several years of fighting cancer.

A full obituary can be found here:

Mr. Tennyson had a substantial impact on public transportation in southeastern Pennsylvania, serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Transportation in Philadelphia during the 1960’s and as Deputy Secretary of Transportation of Pennsylvania during the 1970’s. He was instrumental in the creation of SEPTA from the myriad of public and private transit operations in the region.

One of Mr. Tennyson’s (many) notable achievements was the successful advancement of using public money to subsidize continued passenger operations.

Mr. Tennyson was also a DVARP member and actively participated in helping to create the “Year 2000 Rail Transportation System for the Delaware Valley” study that was produced in 1979.

Through the years, Mr. Tennyson served as an occasional sounding board for various DVARP policy positions. His knowledge and insight will be greatly missed.