Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia’

Pa. City Eyes Pop Up Metro Service

December 7, 2022

A Pennsylvania city wants to use the Pop Up Metro concept to provide commuter rail service to central city Philadelphia.

The West Chester Borough Council said this should be used in lieu of conventional rail service.

The council supports a study to be conducted by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority and Chester County of the Pop Up concept, which uses battery-powered cars that are owned by Rail Development Corporation.

The cars would use existing rails for 8.5 miles between West Chester and Wawa. At the latter point passengers would connect with SEPTA regional rail trains.

The projected cost of using the Pop Up service would be $16 million compared with $380 million for conventional rail service.

The transit time between West Chester and Wawa would be 12 minutes with a travel time of 64 minutes to center city Philadelphia. Bus service between West Chester and Philadelphia now takes 94 minutes.

The rail line to Wawa needs to be rehabilitated, which has been estimated to cost $7.6 million.

Leasing costs for the Pop Up Metro cars would be $5 million for two years.

Cleveland RTA Receives TOD Grant

November 18, 2022

The Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority will receive a grant as part of a federal $13.1 million Transit-Oriented Development Planning program.

RTA will use the $315,000 grant to develop its proposed Broadway Avenue Corridor project, a multi-modal planning project that will incorporate bus rapid transit with bike and pedestrian infrastructure.

The Federal Transit Administration, which announced the grants, said the grant to Cleveland RTA will increase bicycle and pedestrian access to transit hubs, recommend ways to incorporate green infrastructure, and analyze ways to revitalize commercial and housing opportunities near transit stations.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Public Transportation Authority of Philadelphia will receive a $300,000 grant for planning and analysis of Route 11 and 13 trolley services in the Darby and Yeadon boroughs in Delaware County.

The project will support trolley revitalization, study how best to develop the area, support pedestrian and bicycle access, and plan for ways to address flooding and electrical infrastructure issues.

The FTA awarded funding for 19 transit-oriented development projects nationwide, including 12 that were rail related.

An FTA news release said the TOD program seeks to enable “communities plan for opportunities created by new transit stations, such as affordable housing; economic development; and better connections to schools, hospitals, stores and restaurants,”

Projects “must examine ways to improve economic development and ridership potential, foster multimodal connectivity and accessibility, improve transit access for pedestrian and bicycle traffic, engage the private sector, identify infrastructure needs, and enable mixed-use development near transit stations,” according to FTA officials.

The program was launched last May with most of the grant recipients saying they will use the funding to address homelessness within their planning proposals, FTA said..

Track Was Still Open When 2 Workers Killed

November 4, 2022

Two workers killed on a bridge in Philadelphia when they were struck by a Port Authority Transit Corporation train last month were on a track before it was scheduled to be closed, federal investigators have determined.

The National Transportation Safety Board said the construction workers were on Track 2 of the Ben Franklin Bridge before being struck at 9:21 p.m. on Oct. 14.

The NTSB preliminary report said the PATCO train was traveling westbound at 33 miles per hour before the incident, but the operator had applied the emergency brakes just before the two men were struck. The workers were employed by JPC Group.

Earlier reports had indicated the track had already been closed at the time the incident occurred.

The NTSB cautioned that its findings are preliminary and the investigation is continuing. The bridge crosses the Delaware River between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey.

Track on Bridge Where Workers Will Killed Was Supposed to have Been Shut Down, NTSB Finds

October 21, 2022

A National Transportation Safety Board probe found that a track where two constructions workers were killed on a bridge linking Philadelphia with New Jersey was supposed to have been shut down.

The workers were struck by a PATCO train on the Ben Franklin bridge on Oct. 15.

An NTSB spokeswoman told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the incident occurred on Track 2, which was supposed to have been removed from service for a work window.

The incident occurred on a part of the bridge where there were close clearances. The track closure was to have taken place before the time when the workers entered that area.

The spokeswoman said the NTSB finding are preliminary.

PATCO trains using the bridge operate between Philadelphia and Lindenwold, New Jersey.

SEPTA Budget Tops $1B Mark

July 1, 2022

The governing board of Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has approved an operating and capital budget that is the largest in the agency’s history.

In a news release, SEPTA said it was the first time the agency’s budget has exceeded the billion-dollar mark.

Among the $1.16 billion in capital projects to be funded are King of Prussia Rail, trolley modernization and rail-fleet replacements under state of good repair initiatives. The Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines will be fully accessible for disabled people by 2034.

The agency said the $1.61 billion operating budget contains no fare increases and features fare-related efforts aimed at increasing ridership that faltered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those efforts include the new $10 Neighborhood FleX DayPass, which is intended for short-distance riders on regional rail systems. The pass program will begin in the fall and can be used for up to 10 rides on subways, trolleys, Zone 2 Regional Rail trains and buses.

The budget also includes the expansion of the SEPTA Key Advantage, a new institutional pass program for universities, hospitals and local businesses.

SEPTA will retain such pandemic-era benefits as one free-transfer per trip on all transit modes and free rides for young children. Select fares will be reduced starting July 1.

Amtrak Begins New Thruway in Pennsylvania

June 9, 2022

Amtrak has launched a new Thruway service in Pennsylvania linking Philadelphia with Reading and Pottstown.

The twice daily service is being operated by Krapf Coaches under a service agreement with Amtrak.

It is being sponsored in part by the South Central Transit Authority in Reading and the Pottstown Area Economic Development agency.

Third County Joins Pennsylvania Rail Agency

April 29, 2022

Formation of a passenger rail agency in eastern Pennsylvania is now complete after a third county agreed to join the effort.

Chester County commissioners voted to join the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority, which will lead efforts to create an Amtrak route between Philadelphia and Reading, Pennsylvania.

Earlier commissioners in Bucks and Montgomery had voted to join the rail agency.

Each county will appoint three members to the agency’s governing board, which hopes to hold its first meeting in June.

The new agency will seek grant funding and work with Amtrak to develop the proposed service.

SEPTA Increases Capital Budget by $95M

March 30, 2022

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has increased its capital budget by $95 million to take into account expected funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

That will bring the Philadelphia-based public transit agency’s capital budget up to $713.85 million.

In a news release, SEPTA said projects the agency plans to undertake include stepping up design work for station accessibility upgrades on the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line and Regional Rail network.

The additional investment in design will also ensure the agency is prepared for the federal competitive All Stations Accessibility Program, which is a new program funded under the federal infrastructure bill, SEPTA officials said.

SEPTA said it also plans to proceed with the design and implementation of several major projects, which include a trolley modernization, King of Prussia Rail project and rail vehicle replacement.

Amtrak Eyes Philadelphia-Reading Thruway Bus

February 16, 2022

Amtrak may institute a Thruway express bus service from Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania cities of Reading and Pottstown.

The passenger carrier said the bus could be a precursor to establishing passenger rail service between Philadelphia and Reading. The proposed rail service is currently in the early stages of the planning process.

An Amtrak spokesman said the company is seeking a partner to provide the bus service. The spokesman issued a statement that said train service between Philadelphia and Reading will not be determined by bus ridership.

Pa. Regulators Reject CSX Bid to Raze Bridge

February 14, 2022

Pennsylvania regulators have rejected a CSX request to raze a bridge in Philadelphia.

The decision by the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission said demolishing the bridge would not be in the public interest or “be proper for the service, accommodation, convenience, or safety of the public.”

The city of Philadelphia supported removing the bridge only if it is replaced by a new structure, estimated to cost $5 million.

One issue in the dispute is who is responsible for paying to maintain the bridge. CSX contended that if the bridge was necessary, the city should pay the maintenance costs.

But a PPUC administrative law judge found that although the city was responsible for the bridge approaches, the railroad was responsible for paying to maintain the bridge.

The bridge was built in 1961 and is the third structure at the site in southwest Philadelphia on Cemetery Avenue to span the former Baltimore & Ohio tracks there.

City officials said about 5,400 vehicles use the bridge daily.