PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams today toured the Philadelphia Franklin Square Station project. The visit follows this week’s announcement of a $12.58 million Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant awarded to the Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) to rehabilitate and re-open the long-shuttered Franklin Square Station on the Port Authority Transit Corporation (PATCO) High Speedline.
"The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country," said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
The Philadelphia project is one of 55 projects in 35 states that will receive a total of $900 million through the Department’s Fiscal Year 2019 BUILD Discretionary Grants program, and is part of a wider investment in Pennsylvania, including a $18.69 million grant in Allegheny County for the PIT Cargo Building 4 Intermodal Freight Transfer Facilities Development project.
"Safety, infrastructure investment and innovation are the Secretary’s top priorities," Williams said. "The Franklin Square Station project, which will re-open this station and restore it with modern features that make it safer and accessible to all – exemplifies all of those priorities."
Williams today joined DRPA transit officials in Franklin Square to tour the station and discuss how the grant will help the agency address the rapidly growing area of Philadelphia between the historic tourist attractions in Old City and the Delaware River. Williams also highlighted the Administration’s pending U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement (USMCA), which will replace NAFTA and lead to greater economic opportunities locally and throughout the nation.
The PATCO High Speedline serves nearly 40,000 daily riders traveling to and from Philadelphia and Camden, N.J. By renovating existing infrastructure and reopening the Franklin Square Station, PATCO will help satisfy the growing demand for more efficient service as job opportunities rise on both sides of the river.
Originally built in 1936, the Franklin Square Station was closed and re-opened a few times in the decades that followed based on ridership demand. The station has been closed since 1979. The BUILD grant will help provide PATCO with an updated facility with improved electrical, plumbing, communications and security systems that meet 21st-century standards, as well as complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The station is expected to attract approximately 1,500 daily passengers when it re-opens in 2023, improving access to jobs on both sides of the river.
The 2019 BUILD Transportation grants were awarded on a competitive basis to projects with a significant impact in their local or regional communities. BUILD funding supports roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports and intermodal transportation.