Harrisburg Moves Transportation Bill Back a Month

The future of SEPTA, much more, is in limbo.

CBS Philly reports that state legislators won’t vote on a transportation bill until next month—at the earliest. Members of the Pennsylvania House are taking time to attempt to end up with the same bill as the Senate, rather than pass a different bill and try to resolve the differences. “Given that we were so close on this bill, it made more sense to get together with the senate and try to get one bill,” said Dave Thomas, a key negotiator on the bill.

NewsWorks, however, has a more pessimistic take:

Word came Tuesday from the state House’s top Republican, Speaker Sam Smith, that talks are still in progress on a proposal to generate additional revenue for roads, bridges and mass transit.

When asked if he’s optimistic the bill will get a House vote next month, Smith said he doesn’t know.

“I can’t answer,” he said. “We’re just going to plow ahead and see where it goes.”

And Fox 29 reports that’s making passengers of SEPTA nervous. The agency’s future depends on the level of funding it receives in this bill.

So how much money does SEPTA actually need? $6 billion just to allow the current system to stay safe and for systems to be up to date.

SEPTA’S Jeff Knueppell was in Harrisburg this morning fighting for funding to avoid SEPTA’s crash.

“As we cannot keep up with conditions it means things will closed, and that’s the last thing I want to do at a time when we’ve been building up to record ridership in recent years,” Knuepell said.

If those numbers weren’t bad, 9 of 13 Regional Rail Lines will also shut down without money for the aging infrastructure.

Some trolley lines would be completely cut, while others would turn to future bus routes.