West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA: On Track Towards EcoMobility in West Chester, 2013



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Create DateDecember 22, 2015
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West Chester’s aim has been to reduce its GHG emissions by promoting integrated public transportation and non-motorized modes within its jurisdiction. One of its continued efforts has been to reclaim the use of its former rail connection to Philadelphia. The West Chester Branch is just one of hundreds of disused suburban rail lines in the US. This dormant infrastructure could provide a more environmentally-friendly, socially inclusive mode of transportation in the heavilytrafficked areas between densely populated suburban towns and the nearby city. West Chester has thus far succeeded in preserving a large portion of the tracks. The project’s main challenge has been gaining support and cooperation from the other municipalities along the rail line, as well as the regional public transportation planners. An incremental extension on the line has proven unsuccessful, and the project is currently stalled. However, eight local stakeholder groups are identified which have the resources and specialized knowledge necessary to create powerful strategies for building public support for the project. These local actors will be key to the success of West Chester's modal shift back to rail.


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