DVRPC Censorship Video

In advocating for responsible investment in public transportation in the Delaware Valley, PA-TEC joined the DVRPC's Regional Citizens Committee in 2010 to participate in the discussion on how to reinvest in this region's passenger rail network.

From the very beginning, DVRPC was hostile to and discussion of rails over roads, and over time developed a campaign to remove PA-TEC from the discussion. As seen from the video below, DVRPC RCC officials attacked PA-TEC volunteers at the May 2011 DVRPC RCC meeting. The video highlights the closed door practices at DVRPC and its behavior towards taxpayers who ask questions.

PA-TEC extends its thanks to those who support new calls for transparency at DVRPC. If the Commission cannot be open about study conclusions, then this organization is not fit to be the region's Metropolitan Planning Organization. PA-TEC calls for the resignation of Barry Seymour and Don Shanis at DVRPC, and for elected officials to usher in new leadership that can provide taxpayers with honest and open studies of projects that improve our region's transportation system.
Watch the DVRPC Censorship Video

"Its about the substance"

-Barry Seymour, DVRPC Executive Director, May 17, 2011

About the Pennsylvania Transit Expansion Coalition

Who we are

The Pennsylvania Transit Expansion Coalition (PA-TEC) is a network of transit advocates, whose agenda is responsible investment in transit expansion. Our goal is to redirect our limited transportation funding to investment in expanding rail based transit in the southeastern Pennsylvania area, and other urban cores in Pennsylvania.

Mission Statement

PA-TEC's mission is to mobilize passionate support for responsible spending of scarce capital funding for mass transit. We strive to be the catalyst to initiate projects that develop a stronger regional core, growth in mass transit utilization, and efficiency in operation by maximizing rail miles for riders.

PA-TEC’s litmus test for allocation of capital funding outside of critical system repairs, measures a combination of proximity to the region's core, and numbers of residents un-served (or obliquely served) by rail transit.

PA-TEC supports capital investments in projects that do not contribute to new sprawl and effectively serve the region's core. Further, we believe investments in rail transportation must deliver measurable results, such as faster train speeds, more frequent service, new areas served, increased ridership and added ammenities (such as stations with heated waiting rooms). Projects we support will directly contribute to a reduction in vehicle miles travelled and grow new riders.

The goal of this website is to keep the public and elected officials informed to the issues surrounding funding and prioritization of transportation capital projects.

PA-TEC's primary focus is reform of public transportation funding and prioritization of all funding for transit capital projects. In times of declining Federal and State funding, and economic, environmental and energy challenges, Pennsylvania must reform how transit is funded, and implement projects at the absolute minimal cost.
The secondary focus of PA-TEC is the reinstatement of rail service on SEPTA's Fox Chase-Newtown line in southeastern Pennsylvania. The Newtown project remains the most popular and most publically supported passenger rail expansion project in the SEPTA service region, and remains the most unpopular project at DVRPC, Montgomery County and SEPTA.

How safe is this bridge?
SEPTA Norristown Line--bridges shedding concrete

Under current DVRPC and SEPTA policy, land development, highway expansion and exurban growth have overtaken planning priorities at DVRPC, and foregone investments to corridors within the urban core. This policy has cast aside investment in projects such as the Roosevelt Boulevard Subway and the Fox Chase-Newtown line. Exurban development will further strain dwindling resources which will further impede the region's ability to maintain existing infrastructure and services.

Since October 2009, PA-TEC has worked on the ground-level to talk with residents, township officials and transit riders to learn and share ideas on where investments should be made in public transportation and highways. Despite efforts by SEPTA, DVRPC and other private organizations to discredit PA-TEC's aggressive pursit of transportation funding and spending prioritization reform, PA-TEC remains the only passenger rail expansion advocacy group in Pennsylvania that is consistently supported by the vocal public majority.

Listed below is a partial summary of accomplishments by the PA-TEC network.

Accomplishments 2006
  • Successfully shut down Bucks County's proposal to convert the dormant Fox Chase-Newtown regional rail line to a "Bus Rapid Transit", via an aggressive citizen outreach program, which included mailings to residents along the corridor.
Accomplishments 2010
  • Secured 10 resolutions from Townships along the Newtown line supporting restored rail service
  • Secured support from the business community and organized labor for restoration of SEPTA Newtown service
  • Raised public awareness of the deficiencies in SEPTA's system through an ongoing, agressive public outreach campaign
  • Participated in a legislative briefing on the Newtown Regional Rail Line with SEPTA and over 20 legislative representatives
  • Obtained support from the DVRPC's RCC to recommend a moratorium on construction of parking garages by SEPTA
  • Assisted with developing definitions of a regional transit needs analysis for the northern Philadelphia suburbs
  • Met with local, state and federal officials to discuss the need for Fox Chase-Newtown rail service and to encourage better prioritization of our limited resources
  • Rallied support against SEPTA's Jenkintown and Glenside parking garages that brought an end to SEPTA's presentations in Cheltenham township. Both projects are now suspended.
Accomplishments 2011
  • Defended Citizens' right to actively participate at DVRPC's Regional Citizens Committee without government filtration of citizen input
  • Raised public awareness of SEPTA's overspending on the permanently stalled Wawa rail extension
  • Met with PennDOT officials in Harrisburg to discuss I-95 reconstruction project (in relation to transit investments)
  • Led a citizen's legislative tour in Harrisburg, May 2011
  • Sucessfully pressured DVRPC into ending exclusionary voting practices for citizens at the RCC, June 2011.
  • Defeated DVRPC and Montgomery County's plans to enact tolls on US-422 as part of an ill-advised game of "pin-the-tail on sprawl".
  • Successfully dismantled DVRPC's "Regional Citizens Committee", which censored citizen input on long range planning.
Accomplishments 2012
  • Pressured SEPTA into funding the replacement of the Wayne Junction regional rail substation