Bad planning is the hallmark of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), who is the broker of your tax dollars for funding transportation projects in the Philadelphia region. Since they shut down public access to discussing and influencing the dispensation of these funds (after all, why shouldn't taxpayers influence how their money is spent over elitist planners at DVRPC), the agency has hijacked SEPTA's rail system and has pushed the conversion of SEPTA's abandoned railroads into hiking trails for suburbanites.
The insanity of this strategy has effectively taken a high grade piece of transportation infrastructure and converted it to low grade use. Presidential candidate
Donald J. Trump supports use of public funds to move the economy. You can bet the bank that concepts such as DVRPC's "Circuit" will short-circuit once Mr. Trump
is elected president. PA-TEC will lobby the Trump
Administration to suspend funding for all rails-to-trails projects and heavy investment in commuter rail expansion
projects throughout Pennsylvania. Our state was once linked by rail from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh and everywhere in between. Small cities such as Scranton,
Hershey, Gettysburg, York and Reading all had robust passenger rail service, until the Federal Government killed the industry with the interstate highway system.
It's time to get back on Track. On November 8, let's make America great again!
PA-TEC is the most aggressive advocate for reform and passenger rail service expansion in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Since 2014, SEPTA has been aggressively pushing to modernize its archaic fare system for all of their operating modes. SEPTA promised a state of the art system that would make riding SEPTA easier through a seamless fare collection system. Use of "Key" began on June 13, 2016 with early adopters, and later to the general public. On May 1, 2018, SEPTA curtailed the sale of the venerable token at most sales outlets and removed all token machines from terminals and subway stations.
In the two years since Key went into use, and four years and $300 million dollars later, the system appears to be riddled with many problems, questions and has not met the original expectations when the project was first announced. Some of these shortfalls include:
While the Key project is not yet complete -- including its cost -- the money spent thus far would have paid for restoration of a portion of an existing rail corridor on the SEPTA system. New riders, new voters using SEPTA, and new revenue. SEPTA's priorities remain on untested gadgets.
During the winter of 2014, the SEPTA board of directors quietly signed over the out-of-service Fox Chase-Newtown corridor to Montgomery County. "Their portion" of the railroad has since had the rails and ties removed in the spring of 2014 as part of the extension of the "Pennypack Trail" from the Philadelphia county line to Byberry Road. The dream of Feodor Pitcairn of killing the railroad since the 1960's has finally become reality.
While SEPTA retains legal ownership of the land, this effectively kills off any future consideration of restoring rail service to Bucks County where existing SEPTA regional rail stations are at capacity, roadways congested, and no other means of expanding effective mass transportation possible.
As previously documented by PA-TEC, SEPTA has refused to assert ownership of the trailway with the placement of signs acknowledging the corridor as railbanked. It is certain that any future aspirations for reactivation will be vehemently opposed by trail users, NIMBYs and BANANAs (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything).
The Newtown corridor is another missed opportunity, a direct violation of SEPTA's enabling legislation, in part caused by inaction on the part of Bucks County who had the opportunity to restore RDC service in 1983, the corrupt politicians in Montgomery County, the wealthy Bryn Athyn clans, and SEPTA's own corrupt board of directors who have poorly planned investment in the region's rail system. It should also be mentioned the lack of real public support has contributed to the Newtown line's fate. Have fun.