Safe Routes to Transit

This technical assistance program matches eligible municipalities and counties with DVRPC staff to navigate the often-complex process of designing and funding pedestrian and bicycle improvements around rail stations.


2019 Safe Routes to Transit Technical Assistance

The following stations were the focus of planning work aimed at improving pedestrian and bicyclists' access to stations:

  • Bordentown Station along NJ TRANSIT's River LINE (City of Bordentown, Burlington County, NJ)
  • Hatboro Station along SEPTA's Warminster Line (Borough of Hatboro, Montgomery County, PA) [4 MB pdf]
  • Woodbourne Station along SEPTA's West Trenton Line (Township of Middletown, Bucks County, PA)
  • West Trenton along SEPTA's West Trenton Line (Ewing Township, Mercer County, NJ) [14 MB pdf]

We also introduced a new opportunity for applicants to expand DVRPC's assistance to more municipalities. Those applicants who were not selected for a full SRTT project are invited to join DVRPC subject matter experts, as well as DOT and transit agency staff as appropriate, for a strategic planning session to discuss possible next steps for their stations. The following stations were invited to this strategic session:

  • Jenkintown (Jenkintown Borough, Montgomery) [0.3 MB pdf]
  • Lansdowne (Lansdowne Borough, Delaware) [0.6 MB pdf]
  • Media (Upper Providence Township, Delaware) [0.2 MB pdf]
  • Moylan-Rose Valley (Nether Providence Township, Delaware) [0.6 MB pdf]
  • North Wales (North Wales Borough, Montgomery) [0.5 MB pdf]
  • Wallingford (Nether Providence Township, Delaware) [0.2 MB pdf]
DVRPC's 2019 Safe Routes to Transit Program Application Period (Closed)

What is Safe Routes to Transit?

First established in 2016, Safe Routes to Transit is a technical assistance program designed to help municipalities and counties bridge the gap between concept development and implementation. The program seeks to match motivated local governments with DVRPC’s subject matter experts to define access issues, refine conceptual improvements, provide cost estimates, identify potential funding sources, and develop implementation strategies. The goal of this collaboration is to provide a project sponsor with the analysis necessary to prepare a compelling application for competitive funding sources. that can help advance a project through final design and construction.

Examples of potential funding sources include the Transportation Alternatives (TA) Set-Aside Program (formerly known as Transportation Alternatives Program or ‘TAP’), Pennsylvania’s Multimodal Transportation Fund (MTF) and Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. In many cases, these types of funding sources favor construction rather than design. Please note that if a municipality wants to pursue competitive funding, the project sponsors (not DVRPC) will be responsible for preparing grant applications. Being selected as a participant in DVRPC’s Safe Routes to Transit Program does not guarantee any future funding.

Who May Apply?

DVRPC welcomes applications from municipalities and counties that are motivated to pursue the design and construction of pedestrian and bicycle facilities that improve access to rail stations. Please note that stations located in Center City Philadelphia are not being considered for this round of the program. For a full list of eligible stations, please click here [1.1 MB PDF] . Applicants may submit more than one application if there are multiple rail stations in a municipality.

What Kind of Assistance is Available?

DVRPC will provide different types of technical assistance depending on the particular project’s needs and potential funding application deadlines. For example, targeted funding application requirements may direct project tasks and deliverables.

Project tasks may include, but are not limited to:

  • Existing conditions analysis;
  • Developing conceptual pedestrian and bicycle recommendations;
  • Stakeholder convening and workshop facilitation;
  • Estimating project costs;
  • Identifying potential construction (and possibly design) funding sources; and
  • Advising on grant applications for potential funding sources.

How Do I Apply?

Interested municipalities and counties are encouraged to submit a technical assistance application through the web portal below in order to be considered for this round.

Applicants should explain what physical and procedural obstacles are anticipated or already exist that require additional technical planning support. Examples include: accessing private right-of-way or steep topography for possible improvement; or an absence of professional planning staff within the municipality.

DVRPC strongly encourages applicants to coordinate with partnering municipalities, counties, transit agencies and any other key organizations or institutional stakeholders before submitting an application. During the project selection period, DVRPC staff may seek clarification from the applicants and the relevant transit agency.

How Will Projects be Selected?

DVRPC anticipates working on one to three stations in Pennsylvania and one to three stations in New Jersey, depending on the overall pool of applicants. Selection criteria favor applicants that demonstrate a commitment to pursue final design and construction funding immediately following DVRPC’s technical assistance.

Other selection criteria may include:

  • Projects that have not been the focus of another planning study within the last five years;
  • The straightforwardness of the problem and possible ways to address it;
  • The severity of the problem, gap, or safety concerns in the pedestrian and bicycle network;
  • The potential positive impact to the greatest amount of people, or to the greatest stretch of pedestrian, bicycle and transit networks within the station area (defined as roughly ½-mile radius around station);
  • The ability to serve historically disadvantaged or marginalized population groups in the service area, municipality, county, and/or region;
  • The degree to which the project is consistent with DVRPC’s long-range plan, county comprehensive plans, and municipal circulation or comprehensive plans; and
  • DVRPC’s staff capacity.

What is the Program's Timeline?

Applications are due October 5, 2018.

DVRPC anticipates notifying all applicants in mid October.

Technical assistance is expected to be complete within six to nine months.

Questions?

For questions about the program, e-mail saferoutestotransit@dvrpc.org

Previously Awarded Projects

In fall 2016, DVRPC invited counties and municipalities to submit an online application identifying issues in their transportation networks that inhibit safe, comfortable pedestrian and bicycle access to rail stations. With participation by transit agency and county partners, DVRPC project staff evaluated applications and selected three stations. Stations were selected based on impact of these issues and on the project sponsor’s demonstrated commitment to pursue final design and construction funding following DVRPC’s study.

The selected stations are:

  • Erie Station in Philadelphia (SEPTA Broad Street Line) [0.5 MB pdf] – DVRPC worked with the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (oTIS), Philadelphia City Planning Commission, SEPTA, and other departments and agencies to prioritize multimodal improvements around the station, which is located at the intersection of North Broad Street and Germantown and Erie avenues. Although the area is well served by transit, bus stops are located in inhospitable locations and there a lack of wayfinding to major transit stops. Additionally, there are concerns regarding pedestrian and bicyclists’ safety, and high traffic volumes and speeds along Broad Street.
  • Hughes Park Station in Upper Merion Township, PA (SEPTA Norristown High Speed Line) [3.4 MB pdf] – Pedestrian and bicycle safety is the focus of the Hughes Park Station project. The station is located within walking distance to a large business park, several commercial/industrial employers, and residential neighborhoods. Upper Merion Township has passed a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) ordinance to support the construction of multi-family residential development in the office park, and the Gulph Elementary School is being restored to a full-service public elementary school. DVRPC worked with Upper Merion Township and station-area stakeholders to develop conceptual designs that include marked crossings, lighting, bicycle facilities and other elements that support traffic calming and increased visibility that benefits all transit and road users.
  • Florence Station in Florence Township, NJ (NJ TRANSIT RiverLINE) [3.3 MB pdf] – Florence Township has experienced significant industrial growth in the area surrounding the Florence RiverLINE Station. In addition to a new Amazon fulfillment center, another 500,000 square feet of industrial and warehousing spaces have recently opened or currently under construction. DVRPC worked with Florence Township and a variety of stakeholders to identify strategies, including a new pedestrian walkway designed to enhance access to and from transit in the area.

Betsy MastaglioManager, Office of Transit, Bicycle, and Pedestrian Planning
Air Quality Partnership
Dispatches from Alternate Futures
DVRPC News

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