West Mt. Airy Depends on Transit. Help the Campaign to Close the SEPTA Budget Gap

January 12, 2024

State lawmakers recently passed a budget that leaves SEPTA staring at a $240 million shortfall beginning July 1 — a gap that almost certainly means drastic cuts to bus and rail service. 

Before federal pandemic relief dollars offered a temporary reprieve, the Chestnut Hill West Regional Rail line was first in line for the budgetary chopping block, facing permanent closure. Under the worst-case scenarios, the Chestnut Hill East line and bus frequency would also be curtailed, as soon as this summer. 

Given our neighborhood’s dependence on public transit, we can’t afford to let this happen. We need to press Harrisburg — Assembly members as well as Gov. Josh Shapiro — to fully fund SEPTA with the more than $900 million budget surplus the state is currently projecting. 

One of WMAN’s 2024 priorities was to advocate for restoring full, pre-pandemic service to the Chestnut Hill West line, which serves more than 1,700 riders each weekday. Now, we’re working with other neighborhoods served by the West and East lines to build a coalition to fight to save the line altogether. But we need your help, and we have only until the end of March to make this happen. 

How can you pitch in?

  • Show and tell us your Chestnut Hill West story. Whether you take the train for work, school, or to explore the city, we want to hear about it. Send your tales (and photos!) to gkshaw@wman.net or share your photos on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveCHW. We’re also building a history of the line, so please share those details too. 
  • Help fund these efforts. Click here to donate so we can create yard signs and other materials to spread the word and build momentum. 

Together, we can close the gap — and build the case for a long-term SEPTA budget that offers Philadelphia the transit system we all need and deserve. Please help us preserve these vital services.