Philadelphia, PA- Lt. Governor Jim Cawley and State Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr. (R,PA-44th District) joined SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale “Pat” T. Deon, Sr. and SEPTA Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel to promote the participation of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE)-small, minority, and female contractors in the authority’s ‘Rebuilding for the Future’ capital construction program. Funding for the new capital projects was made possible by the passage of Act 89.
“Act 89 will provide billions of additional annual investment in the state’s critical transportation infrastructure. The work you will be doing for SEPTA and elsewhere across the state is essential for Pennsylvania’s safety and economic competitiveness,” Lt. Governor Cawley told attendees. “This summer, hundreds of projects will break ground across the Commonwealth, and in the process create thousands of jobs. I am pleased to see that after only eight months, Act 89 is having such a positive impact on the state’s economy.”
Registered DBE’s were invited to an information session that included a presentation on ‘Rebuilding for the Future,’ SEPTA’s post-Act 89 capital program which will fund more than $570 million in infrastructure improvements in Fiscal Year 2015 and upwards of $6.8 billion over the 12-year program. During the networking session, DBE’s had an opportunity to connect with large, prime contractors and learn about contracting opportunities with SEPTA.
The Authority will begin to receive additional state capital funding provided under Act 89 this year, with the amounts growing gradually until full funding levels are achieved in approximately five years.
“Passing the transportation bill was a challenge,” said Senator Rafferty whose Senate Bill 1 ultimately became Act 89, “but the bipartisan result we achieved in both chambers ensures that Pennsylvania can now invest in the roads, bridges and transit systems that support communities across the state. Rebuilding the Commonwealth’s transportation network is an important responsibility, and I am encouraged by the wide-ranging expertise of the firms represented here today. I appreciate SEPTA’s efforts to expand opportunities for small, minority and women-owned businesses and am confident they will contribute immensely to SEPTA’s ‘Rebuilding for the Future’ program.”
In May, SEPTA’s board authorized the application of Federal DBE Regulations for all SEPTA procurements greater than $100,000 (regardless of funding source). SEPTA has set an overall goal of 13 percent DBE participation for Act 89 funded projects.
“We will be relying on the expertise and talent of Philadelphia-area businesses to perform the critical work of rebuilding SEPTA for the future, “SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale “Pat” Deon said. “As a result of the board’s action in May, small, minority and women-owned businesses will have greater opportunity to participate in the more than $500 million in state-funded projects SEPTA will be advancing over the next two years.”
In 2014 alone, SEPTA plans to award contracts for more than $100 million in new capital projects which include a number of improvements that have been deferred in recent years due to funding constraints. Within five years, SEPTA projects its annual capital budget to exceed $600 million-or more than double the $300 million annual amount SEPTA has had available for improvements in each of the last four years.
“SEPTA is moving ahead with projects such as the replacement of bridge timbers and structural repairs on three vital viaducts on the Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line which has some of the system’s most pressing needs,” SEPTA Deputy General Manager Jeffrey Knueppel said. “Similar infrastructure upgrades will take place throughout the transit system, along with overhauls to aging facilities and stations. SEPTA thanks Pennsylvania’s elected officials. We are truly excited to have the resources needed to assure our future.”
SEPTA’s DBE Program is designed to meaningfully involve small, minority owned businesses who are ready, willing and able to participate in all facets of SEPTA’s contracting and purchasing activities. The DBE Program Office provides technical assistance, training, and other resources for vendors looking to do business with SEPTA.
For more information about SEPTA’s DBE program visit https://www.septa.org/dbe/.