SEPTA’s Board is poised to vote today (April 27, 2023) on awarding just over $25 million in contracts in connection to the construction of a parking garage in Conshohocken at the regional rail station. This funding represents approximately half of the overall budget projection of $48 million for the garage.
MoreThanTheCurve.com has reported on this new garage a few times over the past few years, most recently on April 16th, which was widely read throughout the region. You can find that article here.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Editorial Board has now weighed in on the SEPTA’s budgetary priorities and specifically mention the parking garage in Conshohocken. From the editorial:
The agency also needs to stop wasting money on projects with little return on investment. While SEPTA wisely has suspended most parking garage projects, it is going ahead with a nearly $50 million garage in Conshohocken. With only 410 additional spots being created, that’s over $100,000 per rider, the same kind of bad math as the doomed King of Prussia rail project. SEPTA says it has grant support from PennDot to cover some of the costs. If so, both agencies are wasting money that could be better spent elsewhere.
Since this article is based on an editorial from the region’s paper of record, we will weigh in too.
SEPTA seems more concerned with changing the behavior of people who aren’t interested in public transit than providing excellent service to those who are.
The truth is that the SEPTA garage will actually create more traffic for Conshohocken. According to SEPTA, there are currently 118 parking spaces at the station. SEPTA plans to increase this to 528 with the garage. Organically as a regional rail station, there is absolutely no need for 410 more parking spaces. There isn’t a demand.
Remember, that this garage is a partnership with PennDOT and its purpose is to offer people traveling on the Schuylkill Expressway an option to park and take the train from Conshohocken (signs have been installed which will tell travelers the time of the next train and the availability of parking). If this plan works, that is 410 or more vehicles (or 820 or more trips) through Conshohocken (and West Conshohocken) on a daily basis.
Who thinks approximately 1,000 more cars a day on the streets of Conshohocken (so someone from West Chester can take a train to the city) is a good idea?
Let us know in the comments.