How Many Millions Has SEPTA’s Regional Rail Cars Defect Cost Agency?

As SEPTA's governing body has voted to pay back $250,000 to an advertising agency since ads haven’t been rolling on Regional Rail trains thanks to the Silverliner V rail car problems the greater cost of the Regional Rail slowdown emerged Thursday.

SEPTA said they saw close to a 15 percent drop in ridership in July and August compared to the same time last year.

That translated to roughly $7 Million in lost revenue since it pulled the rail cars due to cracks in beams that found over the July 4 weekend.

The transit agency had to change schedules and run fewer trains as it struggled to keep up with rider demand with fewer rail cars available.

The rail car debacle caused problems for one of the transit agency's biggest contractors as the Silverliner V’s being sidelined made it impossible for SEPTA to fulfill its monthly arrangement with ad agency Intersection (formerly Titan). The deal allows Intersection to sell advertisements at SEPTA stations and on SEPTA vehicles, said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.

SEPTA and Intersection agreed to a nine-year advertising contract in April 2014 that guaranteed SEPTA a minimum of $150 million over that time, said Busch.

Without the fleet of 120 rail cars, SEPTA can’t deliver as many places to advertise.

SEPTA’s board voted pay Intersection $125,000 per month for July and August for the lost ad space. If approved, the agency would also lose $125,000 for each additional month the train cars remain sidelined, which could remain off track until November.

"With the contract's full minimum annual guarantee reinstated at such time that 100-percent of the fleet is fully restored to revenue service," says the board measure.

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