SEPTA will use grant money on work-zone technology, complete streets project

Written by RT&S Staff
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David C. Lester

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) has been awarded a total of $1.2 million through two competitive federal grants, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced.

The grants will be made through the FTA Safety Research and Demonstration Program and the FTA Helping Obtain Prosperity for Everyone (HOPE) program. The awards will help fund the installation of automated right-of-way worker protection technology and the planning and design of future complete streets concepts for the Grays Avenue corridor.

“We are excited that the FTA has recognized the value of these projects,” said SEPTA Board Chairman Pasquale Deon Sr. “We are grateful to our Congressional delegation for supporting these important transit safety and community building programs.”

“These grants will allow SEPTA to advance critical employee safety technology and an important planning initiative, and I applaud the SEPTA team for their efforts to secure this funding,” said SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards. “While this is a very challenging time, SEPTA is determined to move forward, and we are grateful to the FTA for this assistance.”

SEPTA will receive $742,000 through the FTA Safety Research and Demonstration Program to fund the installation of a work-zone block system on the Broad Street Subway Line, Market-Frankford Subway-Elevated Line, and Norristown High Speed Line. This automated employee protection technology is designed to prevent trains from being inadvertently routed into work areas where track personnel and first responders are working. A key feature of the system allows track workers in the field to control the application and removal of work-zone blocks, providing safety redundancy and further decreasing the risk of work-zone incursions.

FTA’s HOPE Program supports planning initiatives to improve transit service in areas of persistent poverty to help residents access jobs and vital community services. Developed in partnership with the city of Philadelphia, SEPTA’s Grays Avenue Corridor Improvement Project was one of 25 projects nationwide to be selected to receive funding through the HOPE Program. The $495,000 in grant funding will help SEPTA fund planning and design of complete streets concepts for future trolley stations, bikeway, intersections, streetscape, striping, and stormwater management improvements along the Grays Avenue corridor from 49th Street and Woodland Avenue to the where 56th Street intersects with Lindbergh Blvd. and Elmwood Avenue. The grant will enable further work on the design and consolidation of existing plans for the area.

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