Today, the SEPTA board has a meeting to discuss fare hikes and of course, its lack of taxpayer funds (Editor's note: Boo Friggity Hoo). Fat Eddie, our money obsessed governor, will make an appearance and bloviate about how SEPTA needs "dedicated funding source" (Editor's note: Fat Eddie wants to raise taxes for the wasteful SEPTA).
Let me make this clear- SEPTA gets a ton of taxpayer money already. It claims it provides 300,000,000 annual unconnected rides. Its annual budget is $990 Million or thereabouts. For you public school graduates, that equates to an average cost per ride of about $3.30. And I have read their financial report. They already get about 60% of their "revenue" from taxpayers!
Here is how SEPTA pays its bills today. Pretend you are the "Average Josephine" and when you step onto your bus, you see two fare boxes. One box is marked "rider" and one box is marked "taxpayer". The rider (that's you Josephine) drops $1.10 into the rider farebox and the guvmint, on behalf of each rider, drops $2.20 into the taxpayer fare box. So, in effect, for every one of those 300 million rides, the rider on average pays only one-third of the cost and the taxpayer pays the two-thirds of the cost.
Do you feel increasing fares from an average of $1.10 per ride is such a horrible burden to the riding public? I don't and I think this crisis is just another alarmist game foisted on the public by Fat Eddie, SEPTA and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Perhaps SEPTA should just charge a flat one buck for every bus or subway ride and two bucks for every train ride, get rid of the toll takers and ticket takers, eliminate all ads (they spend probably $24 Million to get maybe $25 Million in ad revenue) and all the other craptastic programs that make SEPTA a huge fat bloated bureaucracy.