On Wednesday, April 11, SEPTA will present the economic impact of its transit services and infrastructure investments to the Members of Delaware County Council.
A recently released report by Econsult Solutions, Inc. found that southeastern Pennsylvania is the economic engine of the Commonwealth, generating 41 percent of the state’s economic activity with 32 percent of its population – on just 5 percent of its land. Between 2010 and 2016, Southeastern Pennsylvania grew by 81,565 residents, helping the state grow by 71,884 people. According to Econsult, this degree of economic productivity and density is not possible without SEPTA services, which provide residents with efficient, affordable and reliable options to move throughout the region.
Each year, SEPTA’s Operations and Capital Program generate $2.93 billion in economic activity across the region, including $434 million in Delaware County. Examples of SEPTA’s economic impact in the county include:
- Completion of the award winning Crum Creek Viaduct Replacement Project, which replaced a 120-year-old, 100-foot-tall, 915-foot-long structure with a modern steel and concrete bridge that will support rail service on the Media/Elwyn Line for the next century.
- The reconstruction of Secane Station with new high-level platforms, a pedestrian tunnel, a new station building, and other amenities that will make the station fully accessible when the project is completed this fall.
- The reconstruction of the West Terminal at 69th Street Transportation Center into a modern gateway for SEPTA customers and the Upper Darby community.
- The start of construction this spring on the restoration of rail service from Elwyn Station to a new, fully accessible station and 600 car parking deck at Wawa to serve growing ridership in communities in western Delaware County.
Overall, the impact of SEPTA’s Capital Program has grown by 70 percent since the passage of Act 89, which provided the first-ever source of reliable, sustainable, dedicated funding for infrastructure investments to rebuild the system.
“With so many modes of public transportation serving nearly every corner of our county, SEPTA is a vital part of living and working in Delaware County,” said Delaware County Council Chairman John P. McBlain.
“Thanks to the efforts of the region’s legislative delegation to enact Act 89 in 2013, SEPTA has the resources necessary to rebuild their aging infrastructure, and the catalytic effect of those important investments can be seen in enhanced mobility and broader economic impacts.”
SEPTA’s full economic impact in southeastern Pennsylvania goes beyond job creation and economic activity alone.
Econsult’s report quantified the extent to which SEPTA’s rail system increases property values. The report analyzed 315,115 suburban residential property transactions between 2005 and 2016 and found that access to SEPTA’s Regional Rail and Norristown High Speed Line adds $14.5 billion, or 7.4 percent, to suburban residential property value. In Delaware County, SEPTA’s rail system is worth $3.7 billion, or 11 percent of total value. This added value supports a property tax base that funds schools and municipal services across the county. For example, SEPTA service increases residential property values on average:
- $74,512 for houses within three miles of Wayne Station
- $39,473 for houses within three miles of Media Station
- $22,953 for houses within three miles of Ridley Park Station
- $22,050 for houses within three miles of Secane Station
SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel will provide further details about the study at the 10 am Delaware County Council meeting on Wednesday, April 11. Knueppel will also be available to talk to reporters after the meeting.
For more information about SEPTA’s economic impact, including an interactive map of property value impacts, please visit: https://www.septa.org/economic-impact.