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.

2013 year review

Happy New Year to everyone. We at DVARP hope that you had a safe and happy holiday season.

2013 can definitely be characterized as an active year with respect to public policy debate. Transportation issues were certainly a part of the mix. Below is a very brief overview of important events during the year:

Amtrak –

Reduction or elimination of Keystone and Pennsylvanian service was possible, as Amtrak was required to achieve funding agreements due to the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. Governor Corbett indicated support for funding continued operations in March. PennDOT announced a one year funding commitment in June, pending the resolution of the larger transportation funding issues in the Commonwealth.

SEPTA –

The backlog of infrastructure rehabilitation required for safe operation of the fixed guideway routes reached a near-crisis situation, with SEPTA announcing a multi-year plan for substantial service reductions if appropriate capital project funding levels were not approved by the Commonwealth legislature. Pennsylvania government officials finally approved a comprehensive transportation funding plan in late November.

NJ Transit –

NJ Transit opened the Pennsauken Transportation Center in October. The $40 million station facility, located in the Delair section of the township, provides the opportunity for transfers between the Atlantic City Rail Line and the Riverline, as well as access to local NJ Transit bus routes and parking. Interestingly, both the ACRL and Riverline stations were considered during the initial planning stages prior to opening of each line, and each was subsequently eliminated due to community opposition.

PATCO –

The continued deterioration of system infrastructure was demonstrated in multiple incidents involving escalator and elevators failures, coupled with service interruptions due to rail vehicle troubles. Escalator issues were addressed temporarily by DRPA agreeing to pay SEPTA for maintenance pending a longer term plan which may require certain units to be replaced. The first of the rehabilitated railcars were delivered in December, with revenue operation expected in March 2014.