April 9, 2015 has been designated National Transportation Infrastructure Day.  DVARP has joined a coalition of business, labor organizations, community groups and transportation advocates for all modes urge Congress to enact a long-term sustainable funded authorization of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (P.L. 112-141).  On Thursday, April 9 at 9:00 A.M. we will join a rally at Dilworth Park, adjacent City Hall in Philadelphia.

DVARP to host NARP Regional Meeting on March 28

The Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers (DVARP) will host the 2015 Tri-State Meeting (DE, NJ, PA) of NARP on Saturday, March 28, 2015.  The meeting will take place at the Friends Center, 15th and Cherry Streets, in Philadelphia, which is one block north of SEPTA’s Suburban Station.  SEPTA will accept Amtrak tickets on regional rail trains from 30th Street Station.  Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. with the meeting running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to be followed by a tour.  NARP President Emeritus Ross Capon; Amishi Castelli from the Volpe Group and Ruby Siegal from AECOM; and Byron Comati from Strategic Planning at SEPTA will address the meeting.  The price of admission, which includes refreshments, a buffet lunch, and a tour, is $35 if received by March 25, and $40 at the door.

Meeting Schedule for NHSL extension

A study is underway by SEPTA concerning a proposal to extend the Norristown High Speed Line (formerly Route 100) from the existing route north of Hughes Park station to the King of Prussia area. The Tier 2 scoping process has reduced the alignment variations to five alternatives.

The meetings include a presentation program by SEPTA and the opportunity for public comment. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, March 25,  2015
Presentations at 4:00PM and 6:30PM
Workshops at 4:30PM and 7:00PM
Double Tree Valley Forge Hotel
Jefferson Ballroom
301 W. DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA


30th Street Station District Plan Meeting

Amtrak, Drexel and their partners in the Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan will host an open house this month to introduce the project to the public and solicit community input. The event is an opportunity for interested parties to learn about the project, meet the team, ask questions and provide input. The open house will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 28 on the main concourse at 30th Street Station from 4-7 p.m. There will be no formal presentation, but members of the project team will be on hand to answer questions and provide information.

The public is also invited to learn about the project by logging onto the recently-launched website, PhillyDistrict30. Here visitors can get the latest project information, sign up to receive project updates via e-mail, review news coverage and more.

The Philadelphia 30th Street Station District Plan is a joint planning effort focused on creating a single integrated vision for the area surrounding 30th Street Station. The goals of the plan center on concepts of community, connectivity and identity.

The effort is led by Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University and SEPTA with support from a coordinating committee that includes a wide range of public and private agencies, area stakeholders and other interested parties.

(Courtesy: Drexel University)

NEC Future meeting schedule

NEC Future is a program of the Federal Railroad Administration. As stated online, “NEC FUTURE is a comprehensive planning effort to define, evaluate, and prioritize future investments in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), from Washington, D.C. to Boston. The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) launched NEC FUTURE in February 2012 to consider the role of rail passenger service in the context of current and future transportation demands. Through the NEC FUTURE program, the FRA will determine a long-term vision and investment program for the NEC, and provide a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Service Development Plan (SDP) in 2016 in support of that vision.”

This link – Open House Meetings, November 2014 – provides information about the schedule of upcoming meetings.

Tenetative aggreement reached between SEPTA and TWU 234

Media sources report that contract negotiations between SEPTA and TWU Local 234 have concluded with a tentative agreement reached late in the evening of Friday, October 31st. The pace of progress in the negotiations increased after the intercession of several power brokers occured, including Congressman Bob Brady (D-Philadelphia), who has been involved with past SEPTA-TWU negotiations. A ratification vote by TWU membership is expected to take place during the first full week of November.

As reported, the contract duration is two years, and leaves many of the larger issues (i.e. pension reform) unaddressed. Therefore, Transit Division riders may face the potential of another strike in 2016.

Potential SEPTA Transit Division Strike Looms – Again!

Employees of the SEPTA City Transit Divison, represented by Transport Workers Union Local 234 have been working without a contract since the expiration of multiple labor agreements earlier this year. News sources have indicated that the work stoppage could occur in early November. TWU Local 234 President Willie Brown has previously stated that the onset of a work stoppage will be announced 24 hours in advance. The atmosphere surrounding labor negotiations can be extremely fluid, however, and circumstances can change with limited prior notice.

This Link: Your SEPTA Strike Survival-Guide details transportation alternatives in the event of a work stoppage. As the situation develops, SEPTA customers should visit the SEPTA website for additional information. Riders are advised to remain aware of changing conditions that may occur without notice. The Regional Rail Division will continue to operate, but may be impacted by extra passengers and TWU activities.