SEPTA connects to Wilmington every two hours off-peak, and the last weekend train leaves when most people are just starting dinner. This petition requests sufficient funding to implement hourly service seven days per week.
What service will look like:
Weekdays: hourly service until 12:30 AM
Saturdays: hourly service until 11:00 PM
Sundays: hourly service until 9:00 PM
What it will cost:
$1.4m annually to connect virtually all trains that currently stop at the PA/DE state line.
Trains only connect to Wilmington (and Claymont) every two hours because Delaware Transit Corporation (DTC) pays SEPTA for train service in Delaware. DTC currently pays SEPTA enough to connect roughly half of all trains to Delaware, which is where most riders are trying to go. The other half of trains simply stop and sit at Marcus Hook, PA (the state border) before turning around to return to Philadelphia.
Why Delawareans should care:
Improving SEPTA access will provide an economic boost for Delaware's largest city (pop. 72,000). Wilmington has burgeoning live/work districts in its picturesque downtown and riverfront areas that surround the train station. The riverfront area alone has 5,000 jobs and 1,200 residents. The areas that surround the train station are adding hundreds of residential units and are ideally suited for still more growth.
Local leaders in Wilmington aim to attract 5,000 new residents in 5 years and are primarily focused on young professionals. Frequent train connections to Philadelphia provide an enormous amenity for this demographic.
Why Philadelphians should care:
Wilmington has 52,000 jobs squeezed into 11 square miles. Many of these jobs are career-track positions at multi-national corporations, and virtually all are within walking distance to the train station. Philadelphians need better access to good jobs, and these jobs happen to be right in Philadelphia's back yard.
Also, Wilmington is gorgeous. Philadelphians, do yourselves a favor and visit more often. Just don't be surprised when you return to Philly with a heavy dose of riverfront envy.
Why car-commuters should care:
Even if you don't start commuting by train, others will. That means fewer cars for you to sit behind in traffic.
Why transit riders should care:
This service expansion gives riders more freedom, flexibility, and reliability in their daily lives.
Sign this petition and share with your friends and co-workers!
- General Manager, SEPTA
- CEO, Delaware Transit Corporation
- Secretary, Delaware Department of Transportation
I request that DTC provide $1.4m in annual funding to extend all weekday off-peak and weekend trains to Wilmington (and Claymont) - that's an additional 6 round-trip weekday trains and 16 round-trip weekend trains.
DelDOT will save more in annual road and highway maintenance expenses than this service upgrade will cost. Furthermore, after fare collections are considered, it ultimately costs DTC less money per passenger to invest in rail upgrades than in bus service. By either measure, investing in SEPTA upgrades is money well spent.
The upgrade will also increase state and local revenues by attracting more employers and job-seekers to the city, accelerating residential development, boosting regional tourism, and creating new jobs.
Wilmington’s growth will always be limited if its transportation options are also limited. Delaware can’t afford for that to happen.
Thank you for listening to my concerns regarding SEPTA train service in Wilmington.
David Curtis started this petition with a single signature, and now has 1,791 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.