King of Prussia Rail project could help shorten commuting time
The Economic League of Greater Philadelphia released a study last week which shows the proposed extension of commuter rail to King of Prussia, could yield many benefits.
Back in 2013, SEPTA began studies for a project to extend the Norristown High Speed Line towards the King of Prussia Mall. The line, which connects the Norristown Transportation Center to the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, travels through Bryn Mawr, Radnor, Villanova and Gulph Mills. SEPTA says the line sees around 8,750 passengers on an average workday.
Outside of Philadelphia, King of Prussia is the largest employment area in the region. There are an estimated 55,000 people employed by 4,000 companies in the area, according to KOP-BID. That number is projected to grow over the next two decades. However, along with jobs, the area also receives around 25 million visits a year for the mall alone. A purpose and need statement published by SEPTA showed that the bus lines servicing the mall saw around 4,000 daily passengers.
The Economic League study released last week shows the extension would be beneficial to both commuters and businesses in the area. It estimates travel time savings to King of Prussia from Center City of 30 minutes or more. It also showed that the ease in road congestion could save drivers 1.7 million or up to 2.1 million hours per year. Those who commute to and from King of Prussia would be able to avoid the notorious traffic up and down the Schuylkill Expressway.
Along with helping ease the commute, the study estimates the project will generate between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion in economic activity in the region. Studies on the project will continue into next year, as the next phase involves looking for possible alternatives before holding another public outreach meeting.
“Advancing a project of the scale of King of Prussia Rail will require sustained dialog and collaboration within the business and civic communities,” said Economy League Executive Steven Wray. “We hope the analysis presented in this report contributes to productive conversation about what King of Prussia Rail can mean for Greater Philadelphia and, more importantly, the people who live and work here.”
More information on the project can be found at kingofprussiarail.com