While SEPTA's spending charge card has been recharged by Harrisburg, SEPTA execs continue to use cryptic words when asked about the plans to build a parking garage in
Jenkintown. SEPTA has acknowledged that their immediate goals are to install high level/ADA accessible platforms at the historic station, but use words such as "shelved"
when asked about the controversial parking structure.
What is certain is that SEPTA continues to assert that there will be no expansion of rail service anywhere in the northern suburbs, defying national trends. SEPTA remains in denial that valuable corridors such as Fox Chase-Newtown would add new riders to the SEPTA system and provide much needed relief to the overflowing West Trenton and Warminster corridors.
The brand new US 202 "parkway" extension in Chalfont, Fort Washington and Buckingham has been nothing less than a disaster: overcrowded
and with numerous fatal accidents because of the design of the roadway. DVRPC has recently called this project an "advancement" of
"true transportation choices", and an "investment", which they continue to highlight at "Bicycle Summits".
The bicycle accommodations cost as much as a full four lane divided highway. Meanwhile, motorists are losing their lives.
Persistent calls from PA-TEC to direct transportation funding to core projects were answered on June 19 when U.S. Senator Bob Casey and
U.S. Reps Allyson Schwartz and Chakkah Fattah obtained funding for SEPTA to replace the 1930's power station.
This power station is critical for the operation of regional rail and SEPTA GM Joe Casey repeatedly used the condition of this power
station as proof that SEPTA needed more money. Despite this, SEPTA made little effort to fund the Wayne Junction power station.
PA-TEC has made many public statements, notably at DVRPC meetings, that funding of core infrastructure should take precedence over SEPTA's unnecessary beautification projects. PA-TEC used the Pennsylvania Right-to-Know law to obtain SEPTA's e-mail records on the project, one of which revealed Joe Casey calling PA-TEC "idiots" for pointing out Mr. Casey's failure to prioritize the project.
Despite a $300 million capital budget for FY 2013, SEPTA has not allocated any funding to replace important bridges and substations that power the railroad lines. Next year's capital budget focuses only on buying more buses, elevators for subway stations, debt payments on the Silverliner V railcars, and the new "RFID" fare payment system.
DVRPC and SEPTA continue to block PA-TEC from access to public records on projects and the funding prioritization process. SEPTA has chosen to sue PA-TEC in Court to litigate several requests for information rather than operate in an open and transparent environment. SEPTA's secretive policies continue to prevent the public from having a true discourse on how the authority operates. Oral arguments are scheduled on the ides of March.
DVRPC's board of directors led by Camden County Commissioner Louis J. Cappelli voted unanimously to adopt a new
Memorandum of Understanding that allows the agency to modify the region's Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP)
without input from the terminated Regional Citizens Committee.