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SEPTA Boss Urging Pa. Lawmakers To Try Again On Transit Funding Deal

By Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- SEPTA leaders haven't given up hope the state House will pass a transportation funding bill this session.

SEPTA general manager Joe Casey today said he's disappointed the transportation bill failed last night (see related story), and he says without that money you'll see a slow dismantling of the SEPTA system:

"It's not immediately, but it's a gradual reduction of service and dismantling the rail system as we know it -- regional rails, trolley lines -- it's all the critical infrastructure, and that's what we need the money for."

SEPTA's doomsday plan calls for eliminating regional rail lines because bridges can't be maintained, scrapping the Broad-Ridge spur, and changing trolley routes to bus lines (see related story).

Casey says capital projects like the automatic fare collection system would go forward, but there's not much money for long-term improvements after that.

Casey was in Harrisburg today lobbying lawmakers for a deal, because he says it's too important an issue not to get resolved.

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