Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a Major Investment Study (MIS)/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) intend to undertake a MIS/DEIS in accordance with the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). A key supporting agency is the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the region. The MIS/DEIS will consider transportation improvements along an east-west corridor from the vicinity of Glenloch, Chester County, to Morrisville, Bucks County, Pennsylvania. In particular, the focus will be on CONRAIL's Morrisville Line, also known as the Trenton Cut-Off, which runs from Downingtown, Chester County to Morrisville, Bucks County, traversing Montgomery County. In addition, the MIS/DEIS could consider possible extensions to Parkesburg, Chester County (to the west), and Trenton, New Jersey (to the east). Both termini are under consideration because the shorter Glenloch to Morrisville, Pennsylvania segment has logical terminus, independent utility and can be built without prejudice to possible future consideration of the extension into New Jersey. Financial issues and other factors possibly resulting from the MIS may result in a DEIS focusing on the Pennsylvania segment. For these reasons, SEPTA is soliciting public and agency input from both Pennsylvania and New Jersey regarding modal alternatives to be considered, including alternative termini and related issues. In addition to modal alternatives, the MIS/DEIS will evaluate the No-Build and Transportation System Management (TSM) alternatives, as well as any reasonable alternatives generated through the scoping process and public involvement activities. Scoping will be accomplished through correspondence with appropriate federal, state and local agencies, and to private organizations and citizens who have previously expressed or who are known to have an interest in this proposal. In accordance with the intent and requirements of the MIS/DEIS process, a proactive public involvement program will be undertaken in conjunction with the proposed study, including public meetings. A public hearing will also be held at the appropriate stage of the DEIS process. Public notice will be given of the time and place of the meetings and hearing. The DEIS will be available for public and agency review and comment prior to the public hearing. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION below for details.