If the hike hadn't been approved yesterday, the program by June of next year would be $2.4 million in the red, said George T. Hague, SEPTA assistant general manager, Shared-Ride Program.
Mary Reid, spokeswoman for the National Kidney Foundation of Delaware Valley, predicted a financial hardship for Shared Ride patrons who undergo dialysis treatment on an average of three times a week.
Reid said the current cost of transportation is $600 a year. "With the 45- cents increase, that cost will jump to $900 a year with little increase in the income of these patients," she added.
In an unrelated transit development, U.S. Rep. Bob Borski, D-Pa., yesterday announced SEPTA will not have to double the $25 million fee it currently pays Amtrak each year to operate its commuter trains on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor tracks.
A Republican proposal to double that fee to $50 million was defeated after the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee backed a Borski amendment rejecting the higher payment.
"The Amtrak bill approved by the Committee will allow SEPTA and Amtrak to negotiate the payments. That's an acceptable solution," said Borski.