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The Southeast Partnership for Mobility Calls on State & Local Leaders to Address Transportation Funding Crisis

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The Southeast Partnership for Mobility, a collaboration between the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) and Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), was created in late 2017 to develop a blueprint to meet the region’s growing mobility challenges and to develop potential solutions to address the impacts of changes coming to Act 44 public transportation funding sources.

After a 15-month study, the Partnership, issued a report that provides lawmakers and local elected officials with the necessary background to:

  • Secure statewide public transportation funding to ease the PTC’s need for future toll increases and ensure stable funding for public transportation.
  • Pass enabling legislation to allow the new local revenue sources to be invested in projects to accommodate and accelerate regional growth.

An Advisory Council comprised of leaders representing the region’s major employers, civic associations, elected offices, and transportation agencies advised the Partnership with thoughtful guidance that is reflected throughout the report.

Summary documents and the full report may be found below under Report Documents.

Transportation Is Not A Cost – It Is An Investment

The report details how the region the region is a critical driver of the statewide economy and the role that SEPTA plays, noting that southeast Pennsylvania generates 41 percent of the state’s total economic activity and is home to 32 percent of its population on just 5 percent of its land. The Philadelphia region has grown by more than 100,000 new residents since 2010. This level of density and economic productivity is only possible with a high-capacity transit system to keep the region moving. Review SEPTA’s Economic Portal for more details.

SEPTA has also identified four game-changing projects that will help to transform the region. Click here to learn more about the SEPTA Projects of Significance Economic and Fiscal Impact.

Pa Turnpike and Customers Need Relief From Act 44

Act 44 required the PTC to provide PennDOT with $450 million annually for highways, bridges, and public transit, with Act 89 of 2013 modifying the payments to dedicate the full amount to public transit. In 2022, PTC payments to PennDOT for transit will be reduced to $50 million and then $450 million will be provided from the state’s General Fund. The report makes it clear that the state’s current system for financing transit statewide, which is heavily dependent on Turnpike tolls, is increasingly at risk. The PTC needs to provide relief to its customers from excessive toll hikes and make critical investments in new interchanges to power economic growth across our entire commonwealth.

The PTC and Port Authority of Allegheny County are conducting a similar study in the southwest. It will be complete later in the spring. In addition, the Pennsylvania Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) recently released a statewide study of the potential risks to transportation funding in the state that included the risks of Act 44 to the PTC and public transportation agencies statewide. The report can be found at www.TalkPATransportation.com.

The PTC has developed this online resource to share findings of the study and background information on the Act 44 crisis and the statewide transportation funding challenges that we are confronting.

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