Democrat Manan Trivedi, candidate for Congress in PA-06 appeared at three of the proposed commuter rail line stops to highlight Congressman Jim Gerlach's failure to get the Schuylkill Valley Metro built. The Schuylkill Valley Metro has been proposed for years but remains a dream for thousands of commuters between Reading and Philadelphia.
While Jim Gerlach has repeatedly told his constituents that he will work towards getting the line built nothing has happened. Even with billions of stimulus funds going to build high speed rail none of those monies have yet to be designated for this project. The main obstacle is funding. The counties along the route would be responsible for contributing to maintenance and upkeep of the rail route and without dependable revenue streams and certain cost estimates they have been hesitant to hop on board.
Trivedi claims the real issue has been a lack of leadership from the Congressman. The Obama Administration is focused more on building high speed rail rather than this sort of commuter line. Gas costs keep rising and the traffic congestion along the route is a major headache for drivers. One proposal for generating necessary revenue would be to toll Route 422 which bears the brunt of much of the traffic along the route. One major shortcoming of the transit plan though is the lack of a station in King of Prussia where major shopping malls and office jobs are located. The KOP/Malvern region wouldn't be well served by the current plan for the rail line meaning much automobile traffic would remain on 422, 202 and the Schuylkill Expressway, all congested arteries.
Here is Manan Trivedi discussing the issue and responding to my question about funding: