With gas prices reaching above four dollars per gallon in some areas, President Obama is committed to providing transit opportunities that help people avoid pain at the pump. And yesterday, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff traveled to Philadelphia to award the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) $4 million to transform the dilapidated Wayne Junction transit station into a state-of-the-art, energy-efficient, accessible facility for area commuters.
While gas prices are reason enough to leave the car at home these days, Administrator Rogoff noted, "To attract new riders, transit also needs to be clean, safe, reliable, and desirable."
And when your local commuter rail station features a partially collapsed roof, peeling paint, crumbling stairs, and boarded-up windows, how likely are you to ride transit to work? Unfortunately, that's what commuters using Philadelphia's Wayne Junction station have been facing every day.
The Germantown-Nicetown community around the station is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in the greater Philadelphia region. In combination with multiple transit lines, the area is well served by an extensive roadway network, yet it still retains its character as a traditional, walkable neighborhood.
Now, thanks to this strategic investment from the Obama Administration, SEPTA will be able to rehabilitate the historic Wayne Junction station. Work at the station will ensure its structural soundness for generations to come, provide long-overdue access to disabled riders, enhance passenger amenities for safety and convenience, and restore the station's historical integrity.
And we're not just talking about reviving a station; we're talking about a new center from which transit-oriented development can ripple outward and revive the entire community. And we're talking about immediate benefits for commuters and area residents looking to an affordable, convenient alternative to paying high gas prices.
That's something we can all celebrate.