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Thursday, January 24, 2013    

SEPTA schedules meetings on Norristown high-speed line, releases sustainability report


The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) will host three public information sessions next week on the recently launched Norristown High-Speed Line Extension study.

The study will evaluate the various alternatives for a rail connection from the high-speed line to destinations in King of Prussia and Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County, SEPTA officials said in a prepared statement.

The line current provides service between SEPTA's 69th Street and Norristown Transportation Centers, serving the Main Line area in Delaware and Montgomery counties, and connecting to Center City Philadelphia. The extension would provide riders a direct route from 69th Street and Norristown to destinations in the King of Prussia and Valley Forge area.

The extension would provide "a much needed public transportation alternative for thousands of people who regularly travel between Philadelphia, Main Line communities and King of Prussia, the largest suburban employment and retail center in the region," said Eric Goldstein, executive director of the King of Prussia Business Improvement District.

The King of Prussia Rail Project includes preparation of an alternatives analysis/Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The study is expected to be completed by 2014, SEPTA officials said.

To be held Jan. 29-31, the meetings will include an open house and information session with a comprehensive mapping display, followed by presentations.

Meanwhile, SEPTA yesterday unveiled its sustainability report for 2013, which details the agency's progress in pursuing a "triple-bottom-line" strategy to become environmentally, socially and economically sustainable, agency officials said.

This year marks SEPTA's third year of a formalized sustainability program. Last year, the agency developed strategies to "capture wasted resources and put them back into productive use in a way that added environmental, social and economic value," agency officials said. As a result, "untapped resources" were discovered, including energy created by braking trains that's now being captured and reused at a power substation; waste that would have gone to a landfill that's now being recycled; and unused real estate that's been cultivated into a self-sustaining urban farm.

So far, the agency's efforts have resulted in four of its 12 sustainability performance targets meeting the triple-bottom-line strategy, SEPTA officials said.




 

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