WHAT IS KING OF PRUSSIA RAIL?

King of Prussia Rail is a proposed 5 mile extension of SEPTA’s existing Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) that, when complete, will provide direct rail access to the largest commercial and employment center in the suburban Philadelphia region: King of Prussia.

Currently the existing NHSL stations are at King of Prussia’s edge, bypassing core amenities and employment hubs like the King of Prussia Mall (~7,500 employees), Valley Forge Casino Resort (~1,000 employees) and the King of Prussia business park (~20,000 employees).

There are 60,000 people working in King of Prussia and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) expects that number to grow to 64,000 jobs by 2035. Of those employees, 87% currently commute by car. Moreover, the landmarks of Valley Forge National Historical Park and the King of Prussia Mall attract over 2.6M and 20M visitors a year, respectively. With an average of over 130,000 people in the area every day, the need for an efficient transportation system that will ease some of the traffic and delays on area roadways is evident.

For communities southwest of the Schuylkill River, King of Prussia can act as an easy access point to SEPTA’s NHSL and the fantastic resources that would normally require sitting in traffic.  This includes educational opportunities at the 10 universities and colleges located right on the Norristown High Speed Line. These institutions offer a wide range of academic, recreational, and career training programs, along with job opportunities needed for teaching and staffing these campus communities. The proposed rail project will make it easier to get to school and access the talent pool needed for the growing business community in King of Prussia.

Visit KingOfPrussiaRail.com for continuous project updates, public meetings and more.


WHY KING OF PRUSSIA RAIL IS VITAL

The importance of transportation by rail can’t be understated. Below is a listing of just some of the potential benefits of King of Prussia Rail. The rail project will:

  • Create short-term and long-term jobs and bolster the local economy
  • Provide a direct transportation alternative to the largest commercial center in the suburban Philadelphia region for employees and visitors
  • Increase property values adjacent to the line
  • Create opportunities for new office, housing and retail projects within walking distance of the line
  • Reduce travel time and distance traveled for commuters, consumers and residents alike
  • Lower infrastructure costs for businesses and municipalities
  • Reduce congestion and traffic
  • Improve air quality and reduce pollutants
  • Provide savings to commuters on gas and maintenance of vehicles
  • Help keep Upper Merion real estate taxes low by improving the competitive edge for commercial activity along the rail line

PROJECT SCHEDULE

In fall 2012, SEPTA kicked off Phase 1 of the project to explore the feasibility of extending the NHSL into King of Prussia.

See Project Schedule here>

This phase studied potential routes the line could take and assessed what kind of impact it will have on the environment, businesses and properties in the area (known as a Draft Environmental Impact Statement). This phase ended with the selection of the Locally Preferred Alternative route (LPA) in 2016.

Over the last two years, SEPTA has held a number of public meetings to encourage discussion and participation from residents, business owners, community leaders and others to share their thoughts and suggestions on the project.

The full scope of the project is expected to take 9-10 years to complete. Key targets are finalizing the sources of funding from both federal and non-federal entities, completing the engineering and design documents and constructing the extension and beginning its operation. This is one of the largest infrastructure projects to ever be proposed for the region. It will create economic development opportunities in King of Prussia and other points along the existing and proposed line as well as ease the burden for commuters in BOTH directions to and from Philadelphia and Delaware County.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are answers to some general questions. For answers to additional questions, please contact info@kopbid.com.

Why is SEPTA exploring an EXTENSION of the NHSL into King of Prussia?

King of Prussia is the largest commercial and retail center in the suburban Philadelphia region. Most of King of Prussia’s 60,000+ employees commute by car, leading to congestion and heavy traffic on the roadways. Moreover, the only direct public transit option is by bus, which can get caught up in the same traffic jams as cars. One solution is to branch off the existing  NHSL, with the new King of Prussia Rail. This extension will lead straight into the area to provide for an alternate mode of transportation. This would help relieve some of the traffic, support economic development and bring in new people who might not have come before to shop, work and enjoy the amenities in the area.

How much will it cost?

Costs are not yet solidified, but the project is likely to be around $1B. Pursuing government funding from the Federal Transit Administration is where a bulk of the money is expected to come from. The remainder will come from other public and private sources.

How long will it take?

The full project, from determining the LPA and the impact on the area to drawing up the financial plan and securing the funding to engineering and design and finally to construction, is expected to take 9-10 years (beginning in 2012).

How can I get involved in the process?

SEPTA wants to conduct as much outreach as possible for this important effort and to get feedback from everyone affected by the extension. To that end, they will engage in public opinion surveys throughout the process to gauge people’s thoughts and will also hold public meetings to allow everyone the opportunity to share their suggestions, comments and ideas with the project team. You can always check back here on connectKOP.com for the latest information on where the meetings will be held and when surveys will become available. Stay connected at facebook.com/connectKOP and twitter.com/connectKOP.

To contact SEPTA directly regarding the project, visit KingofPrussiaRail.com or reach out by email to info@kingofprussiarail.com.

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THIS WEBSITE IS AN INITIATIVE OF KING OF PRUSSIA DISTRICT

King of Prussia District (KOP-BID) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, special services organization. KOP-BID engages public and private partners to collaboratively improve the economic environment in King of Prussia by making it more vibrant, attractive and prosperous. Learn More »

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