On October 26, 2021, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) launched the Transit Supportive Community Development (TSCD) Program—a key initiative of SEPTA Forward, the Authority’s Strategic Plan—to support healthy, sustainable, revitalized communities.
This program will expand access to transit by shaping development near SEPTA services, leading to increased ridership, improved social equity through mixed-use and mixed-income projects, the stabilization of SEPTA’s financial base, and reduced reliance on cars.
As a major driver of the regional economy and an essential service provider, SEPTA views TSCD as a critical component of its effort to create the seamless, equitable transit network envisioned in SEPTA Forward.
SEPTA generates more than $3 billion in annual statewide economic activity, and proximity to SEPTA services contributes to a premium of $33 billion in housing values across the region.
“Making our communities easier to navigate by transit, walking, or biking enables more people to take advantage of SEPTA’s frequent network and upcoming transformational service improvements laid out in SEPTA Forward,” said SEPTA CEO/General Manager Leslie S. Richards.
“Development that supports and expands access to transit is key to reaping the benefits of public transportation, like reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced household transportation costs, and increased social mobility. We are excited to launch a program that makes an inclusive, safe, and sustainable future possible,” she added.
SEPTA, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association, hosted a webinar on November 3 that included an overview of the program, as well as panelists sharing best practices from Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and San Francisco.
In addition, SEPTA created the TSCD website, which provides more information about the project and next steps. Starting this year, SEPTA will develop TSCD guidelines with the support of an external steering committee.
This document will provide clear guidance to developers on construction on or near SEPTA’s property, encourage equitable transit-oriented development with the Authority’s partners, and detail the overall process.
This program launches amid a series of major efforts underway by SEPTA, including Bus Revolution, a comprehensive redesign of the bus network, new wayfinding tools designed to make SEPTA service easier to use as part of the Rail Transit Wayfinding Master Plan, Trolley Modernization, and King of Prussia Rail. Together, these projects work towards achieving the goals in SEPTA Forward.
Photos courtesy of SEPTA.