SEPTA gets feedback on proposed Norristown High Speed Line - Reading Eagle

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PA. SEPTA's proposed light rail service to King of Prussia got mixed reviews during a series of hearings last week.

The $1.2 billion project would extend the Norristown High Speed Line with stops at the King of Prussia Mall, Valley Forge Casino and several high-traffic business areas in the region.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, anticipates 9,500 users per day on the rail system, said Liz Smith, SEPTA's director of strategic planning and partnerships.

At a hearing Wednesday at Norristown City Hall, many, including Norristown municipal administrator Crandall Jones, spoke in favor of the proposal.

"Right now, we're seeing an influx of new residents who consistently say they move here because of proximity to their work," Jones said. "One of the consistent things they say about that is they want to get great prices on a home, but also, they don't want to deal with traffic issues. If they can have the opportunity to jump on a train and go straight to King of Prussia, that's better for them."

Barry Seymour, executive director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, said rail service into King of Prussia was included in the commission's first long-range plan in 1969.

"The King of Prussia rail was a good idea in 1969, and it's an even better idea today," Seymour said.

The proposed rail line does not have unanimous support, however, and several, including King of Prussia resident Pam Forster, spoke out against it, citing skepticism about how much traffic relief the rail service would provide and concerns about the proximity of the rail to her home.

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