Since the mid-1990's, SEPTA has been obsessed with the construction of "mega stations" based on the park-and-ride approach to commuter rail. This model is a striking departure from the model given to SEPTA when they inherited the railroad system from their predecessors: The Pennsylvania Railroad and The Reading Company.
This shift in thinking also applies to city transit where Transportation Centers now lie at both ends of the Frankford El.
Park-and-Ride facilities are beneficial and a tool for providing facilities for drive-up riders in dense markets. Cornwells Heights, Trenton, Metropark, and Lindenwold are good examples of this application.
Over the years, SEPTA has carefully carved out small stations and even entire lines in favor of magnetically drawing travelers to large stations. This has resulted in more traffic on local roads, congested stations and an undersupply of parking. SEPTA is attempting to build out that next parking spot the same way a highway planner thinks more traffic lanes will alleviate congestion. This is not the solution and is a result of bad planning and the wrong people running these agencies. Reform is needed, and your state needs your help to obtain the needed change.
PA-TEC is the most aggressive advocate for reform and passenger rail service expansion in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Unlike our liberal, do-nothing Bucks county c̶r̶i̶m̶i̶n̶a̶l̶s̶ politicians, candidates like Donald J. Trump would oppose such wasteful projects as bicycle trails and would support investment in next-generation infrastructure, including the rail service PA-TEC is proposing.
ATTENTION: Your help is needed, Ladies and Gentlemen.
The Bucks County section of the line is being threatened. Newtown and Upper Southampton townships have signed resolutions in favor of converting the line to a trail (the first time in over 30 years either township has supported this). Northampton Township has resisted the trail and has yet to support it. Make your voice heard by contacting Bucks County Planning Commission Executive Director LYNN T. BUSH.
Lynn has watched the Newtown Branch political football for some time and regularly supports retaining the line as a railroad. Unfortunately, she has recently changed her stance which indicates she was either forced into promoting the trail on behalf of wealthy constituents, has given up the 30+ year fight, or a little or both.
Eight towns along the Newtown line in Bucks County signed resolutions in 2010 supporting restoring service (Newtown and Southampton included). Our friends at the Pennsylvania Transit Expansion Coalition (PA-TEC) have kept meticulous records of their accomplishments
- Resolutions - http://newtownline.pa-tec.org/news.html
- Historical Narrative - http://www.pa-tec.org/agencywatch.html
- There are plenty of resources to use as talking points - http://newtownline.pa-tec.org/resources.html
Please be respectful and keep the emotions in check. Lynn is a good person and has been a vocal supporter of PA-TEC's efforts. Something as simple as "Please retain the Newtown line as a railroad. Traffic will continue to increase in the future and we must think of millennials who want alternate means of viable modes of transportation other than the auto" will work."
We must take action to prevent any trackage in Bucks County from being dismantled.
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.