Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Long-Range Vision for Transit

Image: "DVRPC Long-Range Vision for Transit"

The potential for a major federal stimulus package provides the opportunity to think big about the future of transit in the U.S. This is an exciting possibility for the Philadelphia region, whose transit systems have been underfunded for too long.

While it is unclear how much funding will become available, and for what purposes, the good news is that the Philadelphia region is thinking big. DVRPC recently came out with a report called "DVRPC Long-Range Vision for Transit," highlighting four "vision narratives," containing rail projects that "have completed or are undergoing detailed study to assess their feasibility..."

With four major commuter rail carriers serving the Philadelphia region, it is clear that this kind of thinking must be viewed at a regional level. The four narratives are:

1. "Service extension in the urban core:" including extension of the Broad Street Subway to the Navy Yard and north along Roosevelt Boulevard, with a bus-rapid-transit alternative for the latter project.

2. "Transit as an anchor for waterfront development:" including new rail along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, and connection with Transit First bus service.

3. "Reconnecting and reinforcing older suburbs:" including PATCO extension to Glassboro, with connections to other systems.

4. "Improving transitional, reverse, and intersuburb commutes:" including the construction of the Paoli Transportation Center, extension of the Route 100 High Speed Line to King of Prussia, an extension of the R6 Line to Phoenixville, and restoration of rail service to Quakertown.

The report is clear that "These narratives do not represent our exclusive regional priorities, nor do they seek to identify the projects that are most feasible, or closest to advancement." Instead, DVRPC's report expresses the kind of visionary outlook that places the bar high, and shows that our region is working to position itself competitively for transportation funding now and in the future.

View the full report here.

1 comment:

~Anthony said...

Personally I think the R6 line should be extended up the Reading/Allentown area... It would open up the entire Schuylkill Corridor to further development, boost the economies of Reading and Allentown, as well as open up those respective markets even further to Philadelphia's cultural, civic, and commercial opportunities.