Commuter Rail, TODs and Sprawl
Looking at Atglen

DVRPC and Atglen Borough are currently touting the potential of Transit Oriented Developments (TOD) along the Amtrak Harrisburg Line in Chester County should a SEPTA Regional Rail station be constructed within the Borough. On the surface, it sounds like a "green idea".

However, what DVRPC does not state in their studies is that Commuter rail is not the kind of service that spurs TOD, because it is only used for travelling to and from work, not to all the other things in life.

What is certain is that the proposed commuter service (with commuter defined as a Monday thru Friday, 9 to 5 rider) will place tremendous strains on SEPTA's operating budget and spread existing financial resources much thinner than they are now. With a potential 2-hour, one way commute from Atglen station, it remains very questionable how many riders will utilize this service.

Extending SEPTA regional rail frees up some freeway space for other users, but does not cure congestion or have a significant impact on road usage. The end result under DVRPC's plans will be total land development in the Atglen Borough area.