Projects receiving funding include cleaner waste haulers, transit improvements, and a new trail
(Philadelphia, August 5, 2016) – The City of Philadelphia has been awarded more than $7 million in competitive federal funding for five projects that will improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion.

The grants were announced at a press conference today at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The funds come from the federal Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program, and are distributed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC).

“Residents of Philadelphia will greatly benefit from this infusion of $7.3 million to projects that reduce emissions and help the City meet federal air-quality standards,” said 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla, who represents the City of Philadelphia on the DVRPC Board. “We are making strategic investments using technology to enhance recreational and commuting opportunities and neighborhood quality of life in several communities. The City is very appreciative of DVRPC and our regional partners’ support of these critical projects.”

The $7.3 million will fund the following five projects:

Navy Yard Contra Flow Loop Shuttle – $416,280 to allow the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and Navy Yard master developer, to increase the frequency of shuttle service between the Navy Yard and AT&T Station on the Broad Street line. PIDC Senior Vice President Prema Gupta said, “Currently, the Navy Yard Loop provides service every 20 minutes to the Navy Yard.  With this new infusion of CMAQ funds, the service will now provide service every 10 minutes.  As the third largest employment node in the City, it is crucial that we are able to provide more viable and convenient commuting choices to the more than 12,000 employees at the Navy Yard.”

Advancing CNGs in Philadelphia – $2,000,000 to purchase new waste haulers that run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), which reduces engine-related methane emission.  This grant will leverage further investment from the City of Philadelphia to purchase additional CNG waste haulers and Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) to construct a CNG fueling station for the vehicles. “Philadelphia will be joining other forward-looking cities in adopting CNG technology, advancing the City and PGW’s joint commitment to create a cleaner, greener, healthier Philadelphia for all,” said Craig E. White, President and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia Gas Works.

Also praising the CNG grant was the City’s Managing Director, Mike DiBerardinis.  “Our residents will benefit from this investment to advance CNGs in the City.  In fact, these waste haulers will serve some of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged and most heavily-polluted neighborhoods and will provide cleaner air to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Ramping up to Rapid Transit on Roosevelt Boulevard – $1,999,500 to construct 10 new bus stations at five intersections on Roosevelt Boulevard, supporting a new bus service currently planned by SEPTA for this corridor. Deputy Managing Director Clarena Tolson of the City’s Office of Transportation and Infrastructure Systems (oTIS) praised the grant: “A new type of transit service on the Roosevelt Boulevard is one of the key improvements that has been identified and championed as part of the federally funded Roosevelt Boulevard ‘Route for Change’ Program.”

Jeffrey Knueppel, General Manager for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) and DVRPC Board Member said, “The new bus service on the Boulevard will attract new transit riders to the corridor, reducing vehicle-miles traveled (VMT), as well as emissions.  These new bus stations will elevate the presence of a new transit service on the Boulevard.”

Reformatting N. 5th Street – $2,020,000 to improve a segment of North 5th Street in the Hunting Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia.  This CMAQ funding will support signal upgrades and fiber optic interconnection to improve signal coordination and timings.  It will also allow for the construction of bump-outs, corner sidewalk improvements, pavement markings and street lighting upgrades at intersections. Acting Streets Commissioner Michael Carroll: “The City looks forward to working with community stakeholders to lay this foundation for a safe, vibrant pedestrian environment and to move forward the vision for North 5th Street, as identified in community planning efforts for Hunting Park.”

Fox Chase Lorimer Trail – $868,700 for a half-mile multi-use trail connecting the Fox Chase Regional Rail station at Rhawn Street to over 16-miles of existing trails along the Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. The rail-to-trail will serve nearby residents, regional rail commuters and the Fox Chase business district. Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell said, “This important project will offer Philadelphians a new connection to the regional trail system and provide the Fox Chase neighborhood direct access to the amenities of the Pennypack Park.  We are pleased to have the opportunity to offer transit riders on the Fox Chase Regional Rail Line direct access to recreation assets.”