The SEPTA Board today approved the adoption of the recommended Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) as presented in the King of Prussia Rail (KOP Rail) Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) with the North/South design option. This action paves the way for the start of the Final Environmental Impact Statement phase of the project.
“King of Prussia Rail is a critical initiative in SEPTA’s efforts to connect the region for more integrated mobility, and enhance the area’s economic vitality, sustainability and quality of life,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale T. Deon, Sr.
KOP Rail is SEPTA’s proposed extension of the existing Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) into King of Prussia, providing a “one-seat” ride to King of Prussia from either the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, or the Norristown Transportation Center. The extension is expected to provide better transit service between King of Prussia, Center City and University City – the Greater Philadelphia region’s three largest economic hubs.
The KOP Rail extension would reduce travel time between Center City Philadelphia and King of Prussia by approximately 30 minutes each way. Improved transit service will promote an increase in regional mobility; provide an alternative to auto travel in the area, helping to reduce congestion; and support development of multimodal transportation options for residents, commuters, shoppers, students and visitors. The 4.5-mile elevated extension will have five station stops with a total ridership projected at 9,500 trips per day by 2040.
SEPTA evaluated more than 30 alternatives for a new rail connection between the existing NHSL and destinations in King of Prussia. Weighing input from the community and stakeholders while evaluating 40 different technical factors, SEPTA selected the PECO/Turnpike First Avenue alternative with the North/South design option that shifted the alignment away from residential areas.
The Draft EIS identified alternatives and analyzed the effects the proposed project would have on the natural, cultural and socioeconomic environments. SEPTA will submit the project’s Locally Preferred Alternative to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission for inclusion in the regional Long-range Plan. The Final EIS is expected to be issued in 2019.