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All About Septa
The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority, or SEPTA, is a conglomeration of regional rail, bus, subway, and surface transit routes serving Southeastern Pennsylvania, parts of Delaware, and several major cities in New Jersey. Septa is partially state owned and partially privately owned. With over 1,000,000 riders a day, Septa is the 5th largest transit system in the country. Septa centers its services around Philadelphia PA, with major stops including 30th Street Station and Market East Station. In the Philadelphia area, Septa shares some of its routes with Amtrak, and travelers can transfer from Septa to Amtrak trains at both 30th Street and Ardmore stations. In addition to its service in Philadelphia and the surrounding suburbs, Septa operates the R1 line, which connects to Philadelphia International Airport.
Septa as an organization began in 1963. It was originally intended to subsidize the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Reading Company, but those companies were acquired by the Penn Railroad company, which subsequently went bankrupt. Penn Railroad’s assets were transferred to Septa, and the organization began in earnest. Over the years, Septa has acquired all other transportation systems in the Philadelphia area, including the Red Star Line and the Norristown High Speed Line (now route 100). Many Septa stations, especially those on the R5 line, have a colorful history. Historical photos of many Septa stations can be seen through the Lower Merion Historical Society, or online at http://www.septasch.com.
In addition to its rail lines, Septa has come to control 126 bus routes, 9 trolley routes, and 2 subway systems. Septa has a large reach--it serves most of southern Pennsylvania, as well as large parts of New Jersey. All told, Septa services reach a geographical area of 2200 square miles. Septa also impacts the region in other ways--with 9,000 employees, it has a massive economic footprint.
At the moment, the financial future of Septa seems unclear. In 2005, a massive worker strike threatened the company, and Septa’s services are often late, surpassing national averages for delays and service issues. Amid these and other concerns, Septa has increased its fares on several lines, and it increasingly relies on federal funding to function at all. However, with millions of users and employees, it’s unlikely that Septa is going to disappear anytime soon. It may not be perfect, but Septa is financially massive and historically significant enough to weather its currently hardships and continue to provide its services for years to come.
About the Author: This article was written by http://www.septasch.com, a website which provides Septa news and information. It may be reprinted anywhere so long as the links are active and the text, including this footer, is intact.