The following comments were made by Anselm Sauter, Manager of Federal Affairs for the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia.
On behalf of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, I am pleased to offer comments today on SEPTA’S proposed King of Prussia Rail line, which would connect commuters and residents to the Greater Philadelphia region by providing frequent, reliable, and safe transit service to and from the King of Prussia area.
The Chamber is committed to supporting the continuing transformation of our community into a global region that fosters economic growth, attracts and retains a skilled workforce, and
strengthens the region’s existing industries and institutions. Investment in transportation infrastructure through specific projects of regional and national importance will help Greater
Philadelphia achieve these goals and firmly place itself as a world-class region.
The future of Greater Philadelphia is bright. We are a thriving metropolitan area that offers unparalleled global access, a well-placed geographic location, an outstanding talent pool, a
huge market of customers, and an incredible quality of life. So much of this is due to our existing transportation infrastructure as a strategic economic asset that places us above so many other metro areas. Yet still, our region is changing so quickly that new transportation investments are critical to accommodate and accelerate such outstanding development.
With this in mind, the CEO Council for Growth, a Council of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, recently worked with public and private partners to develop a plan called, Connecting the Region: A Transportation Strategy for Greater Philadelphia. This strategic portfolio of interconnecting transportation projects identifies nine key infrastructure investment areas that are likely to accelerate development, catalyze job growth and transform our region. The proposed strategy maximizes the benefit to our region’s economy, mobility, and livability.
The King of Prussia Rail project is one of nine project areas that we see as critical to the continued development of our area. As the largest commercial center in the suburban Philadelphia region for employees and visitors, King of Prussia is currently separated from
Philadelphia’s largest employment centers: Center City and University City. King of Prussia Rail would not only connect these clusters with reliable and timely rail service, but it would also accelerate job growth and employer investment. In fact, more than 5,000 jobs would be generated during construction and 1,000 jobs annually.
The benefits from investment in the King of Prussia Rail Project are limitless. It would:
- Create opportunities for new office, housing and retail projects within walking distance
of the line
- Reduce travel time and distance for commuters and residents
- Reduce congestion on our roadways; improve air quality and reduce pollutants; and provide savings to commuters on gas and maintenance of vehicles
- Connect residents to cultural amenities, tourism destinations, retail shopping and more
Our Chamber and its leadership believe firmly in the importance of this project. We applaud Jerry Sweeney, President and CEO of Brandywine Realty Trust, for leading the KOP Rail Coalition forward as its Chair. The Coalition seeks to build support from elected officials, employees, commercial property owners, local businesses, residents, and visitors for the proposed project. The Chamber’s President & CEO, Rob Wonderling, is honored to serve on KOP Rail Coalition Advisory Committee alongside the Chamber’s Chairman, John Fry, President of Drexel University, and so many other great regional leaders.
The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia enthusiastically endorses the King of Prussia Rail project.