Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker and City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson have jointly penned a letter to Governor Josh Shapiro, urging financial assistance for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). The transit authority is grappling with a $240 million shortfall as it formulates its budget for the fiscal year 2025.

In their letter, Parker and Johnson highlighted the critical role of SEPTA in transporting 750,000 residents daily across southeastern Pennsylvania. The interconnected and unified transit system, spanning 2,200 miles across five counties, is deemed indispensable for the region’s viability.

The $240 million operating deficit, equivalent to 15% of operating expenses, poses a significant threat. The letter cautioned that if the shortfall is not addressed, riders in Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, and Germantown could face potential fare hikes and service cuts.

To raise awareness and garner support, the Save the Train Coalition is organizing a rally along the Chestnut Hill route on Sunday. The coalition aims to emphasize the broader impact on communities and commuters if SEPTA’s financial challenges persist.

As Philadelphia leaders advocate for financial relief, the future of SEPTA’s services hangs in the balance, making the issue a focal point for both local authorities and concerned citizens.