On Thursday, April 5, SEPTA will present the economic impact of its transit services and infrastructure investments to the Montgomery County Commissioners.
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 the public transportation SEPTA provides, which provides 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 $403 million in Montgomery County. Examples of SEPTA’s economic impact in the county include:
- The construction of Ninth Street Station on the Lansdale/Doylestown Line – SEPTA’s first new Regional Rail Station in nearly 20 years
- A new parking garage and associated improvements at Lansdale Station to accommodate SEPTA ridership growth and support forthcoming transit oriented development
- Reconstruction and rehabilitation of the 80-plus year-old Jenkintown and Ambler Substations, which together help power the Lansdale/Doylestown, Warminster, and West Trenton Regional Rail Lines
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.
“In Montgomery County and throughout the region, SEPTA is investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually in critical infrastructure work that will preserve the foundation of the system for generations,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Kenneth Lawrence, who also serves as a SEPTA Board member. “Thanks to the efforts of our Legislative delegation to enact Act 89, SEPTA has the resources necessary to rebuild the system and address its infrastructure state of good repair backlog.”
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 Montgomery County, SEPTA’s rail system is worth $5.9 billion, or 8 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:
- $45,147 for houses within three miles of Fort Washington Station
- $40,007 for houses within three miles of Lansdale Station
- $32,614 for houses within three miles of Jenkintown Station
- $32,170 for houses within three miles of Glenside Station
SEPTA General Manager Jeffrey D. Knueppel will provide further details about the study at the 10 am Montgomery County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, April 5. 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.