Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has set a new regional rail ridership record, with 36,023,000 trips taken by customers during Fiscal Year 2013, the 12-month period from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Ridership on SEPTA's 13 regional rail lines increased by 2.2 percent during the course of the year.
System-wide, SEPTA recorded 337.3 million trips during the year on its trains, buses and trolleys. While total ridership was down slightly from the 339.3 million trips in FY12, the numbers for FY13 were impacted by a two-day shutdown due to Hurricane Sandy. SEPTA has an average weekday ridership of approximately one million trips.
Throughout the past 15 years, regional fail ridership has increased 50 percent, with annual ridership up from 24 million to 36 million trips. SEPTA’s ridership continues on an upward trend on all modes of travel, with average annual increases of 1.9 percent over the past seven years and total annual trips up by more than 40 million since 2006.
SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey credits aggressive efforts in recent years to improve SEPTA’s aging infrastructure, as well as customer service-focused initiatives, for helping attract and retain new riders. Regional rail service has also been enhanced with the addition of 120 new Silverliner V rail cars, which replaced vehicles that dated to the mid-1960s.
“SEPTA is thrilled to welcome new riders to the system,” Casey said. “We will continue work on efforts to improve the customer experience, which is helping drive this sustained ridership growth.”
SEPTA’s ridership has grown in recent years despite major funding challenges, the authority notes. SEPTA’s capital budget is projected to remain at approximately $300 million for the fourth consecutive year due to reductions in state funding. This represents a 25 percent decrease compared to FY10 levels.