Little-used state program gets new push from state senator

Written by Ben Allen and Radio Pennsylvania | Feb 26, 2015 1:14 PM

Photo by Wikkimedia Commons user Justin N

(Harrisburg) -- A state senator hopes to help cities attract investment to their public transportation hubs.

Designating an area as a transportation revitalization investment district is designed to spur private development, but only Dormont in Allegheny County has taken advantage of the program.

Republican Dominic Pileggi's bill requires private matching funds worth at least a third of the government's investment in a project.

The Delaware County senator says last year's transportation infrastructure funding package makes it the right time to act.

"There is a dramatic increase in the utilization of transit, especially light rail, across Pennsyvlania. That will only increase with the increased capital investment as a result of the new legislation," says Pileggi. "I believe it's smart planning. People more and more want walkable communities, they want to use public transportation, both for convenience and to save money and to save the environment."

Districts could stretch as far as a half mile from a bus, train, light rail or other transit stop or station.

Qualifying communities would have to hold a public meeting and conduct a planning study.

The measure awaits Senate approval.

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