With stations and bridges that date back more than 100 years, SEPTA needs $4.2 billion to reach a state of good repair, local and federal transit officials said yesterday.
SEPTA yesterday briefed U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, both D-Pa., and Peter Rogoff, who heads the Federal Transportation Administration, on the state of the system, hoping to lure more federal dollars to the city.
"The system is a very old system," said SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey. "The nuts and bolts, we have a lot of needs."
The sixth-largest public-transportation agency in the country, SEPTA transports 1.1 million passengers each day on rail, bus and trolley. And despite $190 million in federal stimulus grants - about 90 percent of which has been spent - the need list is still very long.
Sen. Casey said he was optimistic that some money could be found for SEPTA, despite the cost-cutting under way in Washington.
"It will be a challenge, but this is a sobering reminder that we've got to work to provide help not just in terms of the basic safety priorities, but also a longer-term commitment," Casey said. "SEPTA's challenge is emblematic of challenges we face across the country, not only in infrastructure."
One area highlighted yesterday was the dilapidated City Hall station, home to the Broad Street subway line. Officials toured the station, which needs structural repairs, new elevators, new lighting and other improvements. SEPTA had planned a $100 million improvement project there, but that was put on hold during the past year due to a reduction in state funding.
Some improvements will still happen above ground as part of a major renovation to Dilworth Plaza, which will kick off by November.
That $50 million effort, run by the Center City District and funded by the state, city, federal governments and SEPTA, will provide new landscaping, a cafe and a winter ice rink, and glass entrances into the subway concourse, and new elevators.