The report by the Delaware Valley Reigional Planning Committee just opened up for public comment, and any hopes of SEPTA expansion are more or less doomed. It's unsurprising that there's not enough transit funding, but it is surprising that there's so little transit funding that 80% of it will need to be spent on simply maintaining what's already there.
Even though 80% of transit funding is going toward maintenance, it still won't be enough to keep the whole system in good shape. There are 640 structurally deficient bridges in the region, and the ones that are holding up for now aren't getting any younger.
The real problem is that federal funding is decreasing, and the area is highly dependent upon federal funding, instead of state and city funding. Philadelphia puts far fewer dollars per capita toward transit than cities like New York and Chicago. Though Philadelphia has far fewer dollars per capita, there has to be at least a little room in the budget to keep SEPTA running.
SEPTA is also looking to technological improvements that could save money and preserve infrastructure, but for now, The Little Transit System That Could will just have to keep on trucking.
· Region shifts shrinking funds to transportation preservation [Plan Philly]