Friday, January 26, 2018

SEPTA KOP rail project advances with preferred alternative

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SEPTA will adopt the recommended LPA as presented in the KOP Rail Draft EIS with the North/South design option following Board approval. SEPTA will adopt the recommended LPA as presented in the KOP Rail Draft EIS with the North/South design option following Board approval. SEPTA

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will adopt the recommended Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) as presented in the King of Prussia Rail (KOP Rail) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) with the North/South design option following Board approval. 

 

The transportation authority said this move will allow for the Final Environmental Impact Statement phase of the project to begin.

"King of Prussia Rail is a critical initiative in SEPTA's efforts to connect the region for more integrated mobility, and enhance the area's economic vitality, sustainability and quality of life," said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon, Sr.

KOP Rail, the transportation authority's proposed extension of the existing Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) into King of Prussia, is intended to provide a "one-seat" ride to King of Prussia from the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby or from the Norristown Transportation Center, SEPTA said.

The KOP Rail extension would cut travel time between Center City Philadelphia and King of Prussia by about a half hour in each direction, SEPTA said. The 4.5-mile elevated extension will have five station stops with a projected total ridership of 9,500 trips per day by 2040.

The new extension is also set to allow for improved transit service between King of Prussia, Center City and University City, which SEPTA notes are the region's three largest economic hubs.

The Draft EIS identified alternatives and analyzed the effects the proposed project would have on the natural, cultural and socioeconomic environments. SEPTA will submit the project's LPA to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for inclusion in the regional long-range plan. The Final EIS is currently set to be issued in 2019.

Officials said SEPTA considered more than 30 alternatives for a new rail connection between the existing NHSL and destinations in King of Prussia.

Following community and stakeholder feedback and the consideration of 40 different technical factors, SEPTA said it chose the PECO/Turnpike First Avenue alternative with the North/South design option that moved the alignment away from residential areas.

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