SEPTA Board Approves Five-Year Strategic Plan

The SEPTA Board has approved a five-year Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2021 through 2026.

Five stations are planned for SEPTA’s 3.5-mile King of Prussia rail extension, including the First and Moore/Valley Forge Station (rendering above).

SEPTA Advancing King of Prussia Rail Extension

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has issued a combined Final Environmental Impact Statement/Record of Decision (FEIS/ROD) permitting Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) to continue design and construction of the 3.5-mile, five-station King of Prussia (Pa.) Rail extension of the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL).

Arizona’s Phoenix Public Transit Department will receive $1 million from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for transit-oriented development (TOD) planning at three stations of the proposed 1.6-mile Northwest Extension Phase II Light Rail project (station rendering above).

FTA Awards $6.2MM in TOD Grants

Nine projects—seven rail-specific—will share $6.2 million in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants through the Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Planning.

As the $24.9 billion in CARES Act funding for transit runs out, 10 agencies advocated on Dec. 9 for another relief package from Congress.

Watch: NYMTA Holds Virtual Rally for Federal Relief

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held a virtual rally Dec. 9 with eight other transit agencies calling on Congress to “urgently deliver significant and immediate federal aid to public transportation systems nationwide” to stave off severe pandemic-related cutbacks.

Pictured from left to right: Amtrak President Stephen Gardner, Amtrak CEO Bill Flynn, U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards and Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) recently celebrated the completion of a 1.5-mile main line third track as part of a NEC capacity improvement project in Delaware.

Amtrak, Delaware Complete $71.2MM NEC Project

Amtrak, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware Transit Corp. (DTC) recently wrapped up a $71.2 million Northeast Corridor (NEC) capacity improvement project between Wilmington and Newark, Del. It included installation of a 1.5-mile main line third track between Ragan and Yard interlockings as well as bridge replacement and other work.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit, along with agencies in Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Utah, will deploy technologies that “assess, detect, monitor and track deficiencies related to infrastructure” and evaluate the technologies’ “cost-effectiveness and practicality,” according to FTA.

FTA Awards $1.37MM for Asset Management Projects

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is distributing $1.37 million in grants among six transit agencies for projects that demonstrate and evaluate innovative technologies to maintain a state of good repair.

The signal system upgrades between Paoli and Overbrook, along the Harrisburg, Pa., (Keystone) Line, will “significantly improve service reliability,” SEPTA General Manager Leslie S. Richards said.

SEPTA, Amtrak, PennDOT to Improve Signaling on Harrisburg Line

Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), in conjunction with Amtrak and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), will upgrade the signaling and train control system between Paoli and Overbrook, along the Harrisburg, Pa., (Keystone) Line, an extension of the Northeast Corridor.

Grants totaling $291 million will support 11 projects in nine states that will repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly owned or controlled railroad assets.

FRA’s SOGR Grant Awardees

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is distributing $291 million in grants among 11 projects under its FY 2020 Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair (SOGR) Program.

Amtrak service will see improvements under three multi-million dollar projects along the Northeast Corridor. FRA grants will help fund replacements of the Norwalk River Bridge and Connecticut River Bridge in Connecticut and upgrades to the Trenton Transit Center in New Jersey.

California, Connecticut, New Jersey Win $172.1MM in SOGR Grants

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has awarded grants to California’s North County Transit District (NCTD; $9.8 million), the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) and Amtrak ($144 million), and New Jersey Transit ($18.3 million) under the FY 2020 Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair program.

Pennsylvania has made “enormous” investments in the Keystone East Line without managerial control, said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.), whose new legislation would allow the Commonwealth “to provide greater local control, accountability, and expand ridership opportunities.”

Will Ownership of Amtrak’s Keystone East Line Transfer to Pennsylvania?

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa.) has introduced legislation requiring a transfer of ownership of Amtrak’s Keystone East Line and some of its 12 stations to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Under the Keystone Line for the Commonwealth Act, the line between Harrisburg, Pa., and Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station would be managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

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