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GOV. CASEY RELEASES $21.5 MILLION TO MASS TRANSIT AGENCIES

 GOV. CASEY RELEASES $21.5 MILLION TO MASS TRANSIT AGENCIES
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Gov. Robert P. Casey today announced an initial payment of $21.5 million to Pennsylvania's mass transit agencies as part of an effort to "jump start" the economy by investing in public works that create jobs.
 "This is just the first transit installment in a massive investment program to put badly needed infrastructure improvements on a fast track throughout the Commonwealth," Casey said. "Transit and highway improvements are playing a key role in Operation Jump Start, and we intend to keep building for a safer transportation future while we're creating jobs for today."
 The payment was the first installment of about $140 million in new revenue dedicated solely to mass transit capital improvements and asset maintenance.
 The new revenue will push state capital funding to more than $230 million in the current fiscal year to be shared by 20 urban mass transit agencies and 21 rural public transportation providers.
 The predominant share of the new capital funding revenue goes to the state's two largest transit agencies, the Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) at about 70 percent and the Pittsburgh-based Port Authority Transit (PAT) at about 25 percent.
 As part of the budget briefing earlier this month, Transportation Secretary Howard Yerusalim said transit capital improvements in the current year, with state funding matched by federal and local shares, should reach a total of $475 million in spending to improve rail lines, station and maintenance facilities, and provide new buses, railcars, and other equipment. The investment is directly supporting 12,000 jobs and indirectly another 14,000 annual jobs.
 Yerusalim said the governor's proposed budget could generate more than $625 million in improvements for statewide passenger bus and rail service. The total investment is attainable, he said, if the federal government releases all the funding authorized in new federal transportation legislation passed in December.
 In addition to capital funding, the Commonwealth also provides assistance for the day-to-day operation of the transit agencies, including:
 -- $232.9 million in state operating assistance from the General Fund.
 -- $113.9 million to provide free transit and shared-ride service for older Pennsylvanians from the Lottery Fund.
 /delval/
 -0- 2/26/92
 /CONTACT: Jim McCarron of PennDOT, 717-783-8800, or John L. Taylor of the Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116/ CO: Department of Transportation ST: Pennsylvania IN: TRN SU:


MK -- PH023 -- 2877 02/26/92 14:34 EST
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Date:Feb 26, 1992
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