The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will implement fare hikes and drastic service cuts by Jan. 1, 2005, unless the state comes up with more money for public transportation, officials said this week.
According to the Associated Press, SEPTA officials said the agency faces an estimated $62 million budget deficit for its current fiscal year.
Proposed cost-cutting measures include eliminating all weekend services, cutting about 1,400 jobs and raising all transit fares about 25%. They also call for reducing hours of service on SEPTA's city and suburban transit routes.
SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale Deon Sr. called the budget shorfall "the worst crisis to face SEPTA in its 36-year history." However, a spokesperson for Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said that the proposed cuts are unnecessary.