Shapiro wants to increase public transport budget by $282M , $1.5B in next five years

29 January 2024- Governor Josh Shapiro has announced that his 2024-25 budget proposal will include his plan for the first increase in the state share of public transit funding in over a decade. Governor Shapiro’s proposal will 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 in his 2024-25 budget proposal. 

“Hundreds of thousands of people across our Commonwealth rely on public transit every day to commute to work, go to school, and get to where they need to go – and Pennsylvanians deserve clean, safe, cost-effective ways to travel throughout our cities and towns,” said Governor Josh Shapiro. “That’s true all across our Commonwealth, whether you’re traveling to work in Philadelphia on SEPTA or you’re a student in Pittsburgh using PRT to get to school. Investing in and improving our public transit systems is a commonsense way to create good-paying jobs, spur economic development, and help Pennsylvanians reach their destinations safely. For months, my Administration has worked with local public transit leadership and elected officials to understand their needs and I now call on the General Assembly to join me in making the first significant investment in Pennsylvania’s public transit systems in over a decade.”

Millions of Pennsylvanians use public transit every single day to get to work, go to school, see their families, and travel – and clean, safe, on-time public transit is a key driver of economic development. Well-run buses, trains, and trolleys help 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 Pennsylvania for America’s 250th anniversary, the FIFA World Cup, and the MLB All Star Game in 2026, and many other exciting events in Pennsylvania in the years to come.

“As the son of a union bus driver, I know firsthand how public transit connects our communities, opens up doors of opportunity for working families, and drives economic growth,” said Lieutenant Governor Austin Davis. “Pittsburgh Regional Transit helps tens of thousands of people in Southwest Pennsylvania every day, and I’m proud the Shapiro-Davis plan would enable PRT and other public transit systems to better serve their riders and communities.”

As part of the discussions around this proposal, the Governor insisted SEPTA address concerns about cleanliness and safety on the system – and he has asked local counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania whose residents benefit from the system to meet this moment with additional support.

“Ever since I was a State Representative and County Commissioner in Montgomery County, I have supported SEPTA and the critical services it offers to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians every day. SEPTA has presented plans to address safety and cleanliness throughout their system, and county officials have entertained a willingness to step up to the plate and increase their support – as a result, my Administration is prepared to make a major investment in SEPTA,” said Governor Shapiro.

The Governor’s plan would deliver the funding needed to avoid immediate service cuts or fare increases on SEPTA and would create a more balanced and stable funding structure for SEPTA for the future.

“I want to thank Governor Shapiro – who has been proactively engaged with SEPTA and our partners for months in order to construct this strong funding proposal to address our most pressing needs and enable SEPTA to continue serving our communities. The Governor knows how critical public transit is for Southeastern Pennsylvania, and his proposal would deliver the critical funding we need – providing additional support for SEPTA for the first time in over a decade,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie S. Richards. “In these discussions, the Governor has also made clear his expectations that we at SEPTA step up to address our community’s serious concerns about cleanliness and safety. We are committed to addressing these concerns so that all SEPTA riders can feel safe as they travel where they need to go. I appreciate the Governor’s hard work of bringing people together to forge a proposal that delivers real solutions – and I look forward to working with the General Assembly and local leaders to get this done.”