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6/5/2017



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

SEPTA board OKs solar project, fare hikes


The agency aims to cut down its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.
Photo – SEPTA

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's (SEPTA) board in late May authorized the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at four bus and rail shops across Philadelphia.

The project marks SEPTA's biggest solar initiative and will be one of the largest installations in the city, agency officials said in a press release.

The selected vendor, SunVest Solar Inc., will finance, own, design, install, operate and maintain the roof-mounted PV systems for 20 years. The project is a key initiative in SEPTA's sustainability program, which includes a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the agency's operations and facilities by 20 percent by 2020.

Solar panels will be installed at SEPTA's Roberts shop for commuter-rail cars and at the Fern Rock rail shop, which serves the Broad Street subway line. Panels also will be installed at two bus maintenance shops.

"SEPTA is proud to step into a position of leadership among Philadelphia businesses in the strategic deployment of renewable energy on our system," said SEPTA Chairman Pasquale Deon. "This project thoughtfully leverages an existing asset — roof space at maintenance facilities — to make SEPTA's ongoing operations cleaner and more efficient."

The solar project will result in 3.1 megawatts of installed capacity, according to SEPTA.

Meanwhile, SEPTA's board approved "modest" fare increases across all modes of travel and methods of payment, agency officials announced May 25.

Cash fares will rise from $2.25 to $2.50. In addition, the agency has removed "premium fares" on the Norristown High-Speed Line and certain bus routes and designated them permanent standard-fare rides.

SEPTA adjusted fares in 2007, 2010 and 2013. The agency planned another increase for 2016, but postponed it one year to allow time for the initial rollout of the SEPTA Key fare payment system.

The new fares go into effect July 1, which is the start of SEPTA's 2018 fiscal year.



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