SEPTA's plan for stimulus money

March 4, 2009 3:51:00 PM PST
SEPTA today disclosed what it plans to do with as much as $200 million it's getting in stimulus money, and there's a long list of projects.There are a total of 27 projects in the 5-county area.

The largest will see about $37-million of the stimulus money spent on the Broad Street line's Girard and Spring Garden stations.

"They are long overdue for renovation work. They were built in the late 20s and?not a lot has been done to them since then," Assistant General Manger of Engineering Jeffrey Knueppel.

SEPTA plans to make the stations handicap-accessible by installing elevators.

5.3-million stimulus dollars will be used to rehab and replace four R5 Lansdale line bridges.

The small green shelter on the Croydon R7 Trenton line will be replaced with a new $18-million train station.

Another 18-million in stimulus dollars will begin replacing SEPTA buses with 40 new hybrid versions.

The opportunities for employment will include more than 1,900 private sector construction jobs, and 875 in manufacturing and materials.

Employees in the remaining 2,800 jobs will provide goods and services to the construction workers and manufacturers.

"The jobs we selected will put a lot of different crafts and trades to work?as well as different size companies whether it's a small painting contractor or a large general contractor," stimulus program manager Robert Lund said.

Those who depend on the transit agency say the news couldn't come soon enough.

"It's horrible. It's rats, mice, trash, it's disgusting?been like this for years," SEPTA rider Joseph Howerton said.

"They should have public toileting because there are so many SEPTA riders?I use SEPTA for everything?I rely on SEPTA, it's part of my life," SEPTA rider Chris Cummings said.

Also, minority and women-owned businesses will have an opportunity to compete for the new jobs.

In fact, because the transit agency planned ahead, and began their design work before the holidays last year, some of the projects are already going to bid.

Most will be awarded within four months.

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