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Neshaminy Valley Commons
Bensalem, PA 19020
Telephone: (215) 750-1017
Fax: (215) 750-1295

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49 East Wing
PO Box 202018
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2018
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Bucks County Members Condemn Flawed Transportation Plan
6/26/2007
Amendment would change SEPTA board structure, place suburban counties at disadvantage
 
The residents of Bucks County and their transportation needs were utmost in the minds of the seven Bucks County House members who argued and then voted against the severely flawed transportation plan offered by Rep. Keith McCall (D-Carbon).
 
McCall proposed to revamp the structure of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) in favor of the City of Philadelphia, to the detriment of the four suburban counties, while requiring more suburban contributions, through increased or new local taxes.
 
The Bucks County members contend that the Democrat plan places the burden on counties and municipalities to impose a local sales tax, earned income tax, vehicle rental tax, and two separate hotel room taxes to generate funding for transit needs.
 
The seven Republican House members who voted against the McCall amendment -- Rep. Paul Clymer (R-145), Rep. Gene DiGirolamo (R-18), Rep. Bernie O’Neill (R-29), Rep. Scott Petri (R-178), Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-143), Rep. Dave Steil (R-31) and Rep. Kathy Watson (R-144) – were particularly incensed by the revamping of the SEPTA board, which would allow the City of Philadelphia to dominate and override suburban decisions on fares, routes and services.
 
Equally egregious, under the McCall amendment, the newly configured board could remove Bucks County SEPTA board members and make substantial changes to routes, fares and service in the county if the board felt that Bucks County had not contributed its “fair share.” The plan also would require Bucks County to essentially buy their way onto the board to represent the people of their county.
 
Most notably missing from the McCall plan is a long-term vision for transportation. The state Secretary of Transportation has not indicated how additional funds would be used. Members feel as though more is needed than just Band-Aids to fix the broken system of highways, bridges and mass transit as these projects impact the safety, quality and economic viability of the region.
 
“We have a vibrant area, but congestion has plagued our communities,” the members said. “Now is the time to insist that the system addresses this issue.”
 
The McCall amendment passed 101-100 on a nearly party-line vote Monday evening. The entire transportation bill, which contains the amendment, is scheduled for a vote by the full House on final consideration later this week.
 
Bucks County Republican Delegation
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Jennifer Algoe Keaton
jkeaton@pahousegop.com
House Republican Public Relations
(717) 705-2094
Caucus site: PAHouseGOP.com