Governor Shapiro and Secretary Carroll Ride SEPTA Regional Rail, Highlighting How the Governor’s Proposed Budget Supports Clean, Safe, and On-Time Public Transit Across the Commonwealth

Government and Politics

May 16, 2024

From: Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro

Safe, clean, and on-time public transit is essential to Pennsylvanians’ daily lives and our economic growth – and the Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal invests $282 million in the 32 public transit systems that millions of Pennsylvanians rely on.

Governor Shapiro worked with SEPTA, the General Assembly, and local leaders to develop a plan to meet the region’s transit needs – and his budget proposes over $160 million to connect riders in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Langhorne, PA – On May 16th, Governor Josh Shapiro, Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Secretary Mike Carroll, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) General Manager and CEO Leslie Richards and Transit Police Chief Charles Lawson, and legislative leaders rode SEPTA’s Regional Rail line from Rydal Station to Langhorne Station to highlight the Governor’s proposed 2024-25 budget investments in clean, safe, and on-time public transit across the Commonwealth.

Millions of Pennsylvanians rely on public transit to commute to work, go to school, and travel where they need to go – and public transit helps major employers recruit workers, connect with clients, and makes Pennsylvania economically competitive. That’s why Governor Shapiro’s budget would increase the state share of public transit funding by 1.75% – a $282.8 million investment, and nearly $1.5 billion in new state funding over five years in transit systems that Pennsylvanians rely on. 

“Pennsylvanians deserve clean, safe, on-time public transit – and our growing economy demands it. SEPTA is a critical provider of the essential connections that Pennsylvanians rely on daily – and my Administration has been working with SEPTA to address the unique safety and cleanliness challenges they face,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “My budget includes an additional $161 million to help keep SEPTA clean and safe, and if it’s passed by the General Assembly, SEPTA will be able fund 40 more police offices, 30 more safety personnel, and 100 more cleaners without cutting service or raising fares.?This is a commonsense investment that will help provide real freedom and opportunity for more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians who use SEPTA every day.”

Public transit is particularly critical in Southeastern Pennsylvania, with over 700,000 of Pennsylvanians using SEPTA daily across Philadelphia, Delaware, Montgomery, Bucks, and Chester counties. In addition to SEPTA, the Governor’s proposal would fund 31 other public transit systems across the Commonwealth.

“Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal gives us a historic opportunity to connect our communities, spur economic development, and create opportunity for generations of Pennsylvanians to come,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “Public transit services are critical – over half of Pennsylvania’s transit users have no other option to travel to within their communities or go to work and school. Our 32 transit agencies across the Commonwealth, including SEPTA, provide millions of trips every year for Pennsylvanians – and the Governor’s budget would invest in the success of all of them.”

Ahead of his budget address in February, the Governor and his Administration worked closely with SEPTA to assess its needs and develop a plan to address riders’ concerns about cleanliness and safety on the system. After bringing his Administration, SEPTA, and local leaders together for input and coordination on that plan, the Governor proposed a $161.5 million increase for SEPTA in his budget to avoid immediate service cuts and fare increases, create a more balanced and stable funding structure, and continue to serve hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians daily across the five counties that rely on and benefit from SEPTA service.

“SEPTA is grateful for the support of Gov. Shapiro, who has proposed an historic investment for public transportation across the Commonwealth,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “For SEPTA, this funding will ensure that SEPTA can provide the reliable service that hundreds of thousands of customers rely on every day. It will also allow us to hire dozens of new police officers and bolster efforts to ensure we are providing a safe, secure and clean system for our riders and workforce.”

In April, SEPTA proposed $2.6 billion total budget for Fiscal Year 2025 that includes a doubling in funding for safe, clean, and secure initiatives, including a total of $72 million to fund 40 more police officers, 30 more safety professionals, and 100 more cleaners. If passed by the legislature as proposed by the Governor, SEPTA’s service will be safer and cleaner while avoiding devastating service cuts and fare increases that would impact connectivity for millions of riders across Southeastern Pennsylvania.

“The SEPTA Transit Police Department is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our customers. With support from Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal, we plan to hire 40 new police officers next year, which would significantly enhance our patrols, uniformed police presence, and enforcement efforts,” said SEPTA Police Chief Charles Lawson. “We feel incredibly supported by the elected officials behind me and here today, and that effort is led by Governor Shapiro. Governor, I want to thank you – you are a tremendous supporter of law enforcement. Your advocacy is known far and wide, it means so much to the things that we are trying to do. I want to thank you for your leadership in the way of safety and security in this city and this state.”

The Governor’s proposal to increase public transit funding will help to attract new companies to Pennsylvania, make it easier for folks to get to work and do business, and will be critical as millions of visitors come to the Southeastern Pennsylvania for many high-profile events in the years to come – including America’s 250th anniversary, the FIFA World Cup, the MLB All Star Game in 2026, and many other exciting events.

“I appreciate the opportunity of having Governor Shapiro in our district to discuss the important issue of transit funding,” said Senator Frank Farry. “Transit plays an important role in the 6th Senatorial District for our citizens, students, and workforce. I look forward to continuing the discussion on adequate funding for our transit agencies.”

“SEPTA is an important part of the Philadelphia area’s transportation infrastructure,” said Representative Joe Hogan. “With headline events like the 2026 FIFA World Cup, America250 and the 2026 MLB All-Star game coming to Philadelphia, this investment is necessary to make sure SEPTA is prepared for the crowds that will come with them.”

“Folks who are struggling to make it across PA told me that lack of transportation is a key barrier to getting ahead,” said Senator Art Haywood. “Transportation equals pay. We cannot afford to delay Governor Shapiro’s plan.”

“People all over the world depend on reliable, accessible, and clean public transit every day – and Pennsylvania is no exception,” said Representative Ben Sanchez. “However, our commonwealth’s transportation systems lag behind other states’ when it comes to consistency and availability. This is largely because we haven’t increased their funding in over a decade, and the demand for buses, trains, and trolleys has only gone up.  I’m happy to support Governor Josh Shapiro’s proposal to adequately fund transit systems like SEPTA so people of all ages and abilities can get to their destinations safely.”

For a breakdown of how Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal will fund 32 public transit systems all across the Commonwealth, click here. For more information on the Governor’s 2024-25 budget proposal, visit shapirobudget.pa.gov.