Washington, DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to Brigid Hynes-Cherin, the Regional Administrator for the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA), urging the agency to begin discussions with stakeholders in the region about extending the Broad Street line by 1.5 miles into the Navy Yard. In his letter, Casey made the case that extending the line further into the Navy Yard would play a role in job creation and economic growth in the area. Additionally, it is estimated that extending the line could increase boardings by 8,000. The Navy Yard currently supports 130 companies and 10,000 workers, and an extended line could increase the economic benefit to businesses and residents.
“Increasing reliable transportation services is critical to Philadelphia’s present and future economy,” Senator Casey said. “Extending this line would continue to grow the Navy Yard as an attractive place for businesses. This effort will support the thousands of jobs already at the Navy Yard, and could create more.”
The text of Casey’s letter is below:
Ms. Brigid Hynes-Cherin
Federal Transit Administration
1760 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Dear Regional Administration Hynes-Cherin:
I write to request that you meet with SEPTA, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 98, the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades to discuss extension of the Broad Street Line in Philadelphia. This project would provide for the construction of a 1.5-mile subway extension into the Philadelphia Navy Yard.
The Philadelphia Navy Yard is a 1,200 acre, dynamic urban development offering the Philadelphia region a unique and centrally-located business campus with an uncompromising commitment to sustainability. The Navy Yard is home to more than 130 companies and 10,000 employees in the office, industrial, manufacturing, and research and development sectors, occupying 6.5 million square feet of real estate in a mix of historic and new high-performance building construction. Currently, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation runs a shuttle bus service to two different points on SEPTA’s system which is widely utilized. As the Navy Yard continues to grow, we need to start planning for a long term solution that will provide commuters with direct access to the Navy Yard as part of SEPTA’s subway system. It is my understanding that SEPTA continues to maintain this project as a priority on its expansion planning list.
In 2007, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission funded a feasibility study (attached) to evaluate the construction and to estimate capital costs, ridership, and economic benefit of extending the subway by way of two stations into the Navy Yard. At the Navy Yard’s full build-out, ridership is estimated at more than 8,000 boardings between the two stations and would attract significantly more riders than the current bus system. Due to the substantially greater ridership generated by the subway extension over the other alternatives, the subway proves to be the most cost effective transit alternative over time, measured in terms of annualized capital and operating costs per rider. As such, I believe that it is time to gather stakeholders to examine ways to further the extension of the Broad Street Line.
Thank you for your time and consideration regarding my request. Please feel free to contact my staff to schedule such a meeting.
Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senate