The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the King of Prussia Rail project was released by SEPTA and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in October 2017. The DEIS comes five years after SEPTA kicked off Phase 1 of the project in fall 2012 and is a milestone for this important project.
The DEIS “describes and summarizes the transportation and environmental benefits and impacts of extending Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) rail transit service to the King of Prussia Mall and other destinations in the King of Prussia-Valley Forge area of Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.” The DEIS announces and discusses the decision for the Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) route. The LPA is the Peco/TP-1st Avenue Action Alternative.
From October through December 4, 2017 the DEIS is available for public review and commenting. SEPTA will hold three public meetings for the public to provide comments and learn about the DEIS and LPA. Meetings dates are scheduled on November 13th and 15th in Upper Merion Township and the Municipality of Norristown. Meeting times and locations can be found here. It is important to note that in order to follow the federal process for the public hearings the project team will be unable to provide responses to questions or comments during the public hearing.
The Executive Summary of the DEIS Report can be found here and the entire DEIS Report can be found here.
What happens next?
Once the public commenting period is over in December 2017, there will be a formal adoption of the LPA. The Final EIS will then move forward with the record of decision, refinement of financial plans and engineering request to the FTA. The project will then move into engineering phase. The project development process can be found here.
Why KOP Rail is important
It provides greater access to Philadelphia, Norristown, Upper Merion Township and communities along the Norristown High Speed Line. The project would effectively connect the three largest employment centers in the Greater Philadelphia region: Center City, University City and King of Prussia. Such access allows residents, employees and visitors to travel more efficiently, save time and save money on their commutes.
The project’s economic, health and environmental benefits will continue to allow the region to grow, be competitive, and sustainable in the long term. The project is expected to reduce up to 18 million automobile vehicle miles traveled, having a significant impact on congestion, greenhouse gas emissions and air quality. Furthermore, for every $1 invested in public transportation, there is an expected $4 return. This investment will spur job and economic growth in the regions serviced by and surrounding the High-Speed Line. Such growth will provide larger tax revenues, increased property values and improve quality of life for residents.
How to get involved
Endorse the KOP Rail project today by submitting your support here: https://connectkop.com/endorse/
Stay connected. Follow the KOP Rail Project on Twitter at @KOPRail and visit the KOP Rail website to learn about project updates and upcoming meetings.