Light rail may be less costly than anticipated

    What was originally a two billion dollar transit project has been scaled down considerably.

    A suburban Philadelphia transit project could get a new lease on life with some federal money. But what was originally a two billion dollar transit project has been scaled down considerably.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090824tmtransportation.mp3]

    The project, which would create light rail service from Norristown to Reading, is now expected to cost just 210 million dollars. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the savings come from moving the route from the center of Route 422 to existing freight lines, avoiding land purchase and construction costs.

    LaHood: People are fed up with sitting in traffic and congestion and there’s going to be new leadership at DOT in Washington to work with folks like this throughout the country who want to get people out of their cars and provide alternatives.

    LaHood says the state will conduct a study to determine exact costs and a construction timetable. Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel says the county would have to come up with part of the funding.

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