Paoli Transportation Center Plans Moving Ahead: Darby Road location selected for new train station

Last fall, SEPTA presented three options for the Paoli Transportation Center at an open house at the township building.  I received the following SEPTA press release from township manager, Bill Martin who had promised last week that an update was imminent.  After reviewing the public’s input and preference on the site location for the new train station, a  decision was announced today. Of the three alternatives, the Darby Road Extension was the preferred plan —   click here to review the three plans. A map of the Darby Road Extension Alternative is below.

According to SEPTA’s press release, in the Darby Road Extension Alternative plan, “the existing North Valley Road Bridge will be demolished and Darby Road will be extended across Lancaster Avenue over the railroad tracks and with a new bridge to be constructed.”    Both the Greenwood and the Plank Avenue options had the train station moving from its current location whereas the Darby Road Extension plan alternative leaves the station in the same place.

It’s exciting to see that the train station  project has completed another hurdle in what has been a very long process — thanks to all that helped with this step!

SEPTA Press Release:

Darby Road Site Selected for Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center

PHILADELPHIA, PA (February 13, 2013)—SEPTA, in conjunction with a consortium of stakeholders, has designated the Darby Road Extension Alternative as the preferred site for the proposed Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center.

The Darby Road Extension Alternative was one of three options presented at the October 2012 Paoli Transportation Visions Open House where over 300 residents and community stakeholders provided their opinions on each alternative. After the event, their feedback was compiled and Gannett Fleming presented SEPTA with an alternative analysis report. Both showed the Darby Road Extension Alternative as the best and most favored option. Under this option, the existing North Valley Road Bridge will be demolished and Darby Road will be extended across Lancaster Avenue over the railroad tracks and with a new bridge to be constructed.

“We considered all of the options and opinions presented,” Robert Lund, SEPTA Assistant General Manager of Engineering Maintenance & Construction said. “It was important for us to hear what the community wanted.”

“The demolition of the outmoded North Valley Road Bridge, and the extension of Darby Road, is a smart, community based solution,” Michelle Kichline Chairman of Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors said. “It is a critical first step in the long planned redevelopment of Paoli and the Transportation center.”

Located in Chester County the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will be in the heart of the Paoli Business District. It will feature a fully accessible Regional Rail Station that will accommodate SEPTA buses, private carrier shuttle buses, taxis, pedestrians, and cyclists. A large, multi-story parking garage will also be needed as part of the Center. Roadway, streetscape and track improvements are also planned to enhance rail service and improve traffic flow in the area.

“This project is tremendously important to our Paoli community and to the region,” Pennsylvania State Representative Warren Kampf said. “I look forward to working with all stakeholders — especially local residents — and SEPTA on this preferred site. We need to create a Transportation Center that addresses long unsolved problems with the current station, the road network, the parking, the ever-increasing commuter demands and which promises to be a centerpiece of a better downtown Paoli.”

Paoli Station serves approximately 1,300 passengers each day. The station is located along SEPTA’s Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail Line and AMTRAK’s Philadelphia/Harrisburg Keystone Corridor. SEPTA bus routes 92, 105, 204, 205, and 206 serve the station in addition to private carrier shuttle buses that provide transportation to the Great Valley and Chesterbrook corporate centers.

“The Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will be a great benefit to the residents of Chester County,” Pennsylvania State Representative Duane Milne said. “The new station will not only allow residents to reach destinations such as Philadelphia or Harrisburg more easily, but it will also benefit the local economy, as well. New businesses will likely open in the area of the new station to accommodate the needs of the many commuters passing through each day. “I am glad that everyone involved in the project came together and made a thoughtful decision on its future location. Having selected a site, now the exciting construction process can begin and this wonderful project will soon become a reality.”

“This is a project that has been literally decades in the making and one that will provide a significant boost to our local economy,” Pennsylvania State Senator Andy Dinniman said. “The new Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center will be a crucial artery for local businesses, commuters, employees and residents throughout the region, as well as a 21st century transportation hub for the downtown Paoli business district. Design improvements will address issues with the current station, such as parking and traffic enhancements and better access for pedestrians, cyclists and buses. But perhaps most importantly, the project will go hand-in-hand with vital rail-line upgrades to Amtrak’s Keystone Corridor train service – upgrades that mean faster trains and shorter travel times for commuters.”

In addition to SEPTA, the Paoli Intermodal Transportation Center project has been guided by a consortium of stakeholders consisting of Tredyffrin Township, Willistown Township, AMTRAK, PennDOT, the Chester County and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commissions, elected officials, residents and the business community. For more information about the project, visit http://www.paolionthemove.org/.

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