SEPTA does a lot—from taking 300 million riders around the city every year, to employing 9,400 workers in and around the area—but possibly chief among them, is the $3 billion in economic impact that the transit system contributes to the region.
At least, that’s according to a report released by SEPTA Thursday, which details how the nation’s sixth largest transportation system is a financial boon for the city and its suburbs.
And, SEPTA general manager Jeff Knueppel says, they’ve done it all without adding any additional tracks or cars in nearly 20 years.
“We’re constantly running near capacity, and that’s tough on equipment,” Kneuppel told reporters at a meeting Thursday, according to PhillyMag.
That’s the driving force behind the comprehensive study; SEPTA is about to turn to the state for $6 billion in funding over the next 15 years and they plan to present their report.
According to the report, called “SEPTA Drives the Economy of Pennsylvania,” which examined every aspect of SEPTA’s financial impact and future development plans, the transit system has historically put their funding toward projects that have a positive economic impact on the state as a whole.
They noted capital investments like replacing the Crum Creek viaduct and making the 40th Street Station accessible for disabled people, as examples.
“SEPTA’s capital investments generate $775 million in economic impact within Pennsylvania each year, supporting more than 5,400 jobs and more than $300 million in earnings,” they said in the report.
But there’s still work to do. SEPTA listed ongoing projects, like improving the City Hall and 15th Street stations (for which they’ve budgeted almost $150 million), and constructing a new Paoli station (for which they’ve budgeted $90 million), as examples of work that still needs to be completed.