While the Chester City waterfront has seen significant development in recent years, including PPL Park and a converted office building, one thing has been missing: viable public transit options. That could soon change.
A new study from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission looks at the feasibility of building a SEPTA Regional Rail station on the Wilmington-Newark line that would link pedestrians to the stadium and other planned development. Highland Avenue, currently the closest station, is only expected to last another three to five years and would cost about $26 million to rebuild. It is also among the least-used stations on SEPTA with an average of 84 daily boards.
The best option, the study says, would be a new station on Engle Street
near Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park because it allows safe passage
over Conrail freight tracks and is roughly a half-mile from PPL Park
and a planned mixed-use development by Buccini/Pollin Group. The
projected cost would be about the same as rebuilding the Highland
“I think that’s an awesome idea,” said Mike Naioti, of the Sons of Ben, the enthusiastic fan organization for the Union. “Right now, the best option is not really a good option.”
SEPTA is still studying the proposals.
“The concern that we have right now is funding is always an issue,” said Byron Comati, SEPTA’s director of Strategic Planning.
No economic impact studies have been done on the proposals, said Thomas Moore, Mayor Wendell Butler’s chief of staff.
“Having an enhanced public transit system to serve the waterfront core … is obviously something we’re very interested in,” Moore said.
SEPTA’s Wilmington/Newark Line also stops at the Chester Transportation Center, connecting with shuttle buses to PPL Park. Four SEPTA bus routes also stop at the CTC.