Transit Planning

The DVRPC region is served by nearly every mode of public transit, from historic trolleys along Girard Avenue in Philadelphia to the Amtrak Keystone Corridor. This multimodal public transit network remains a tremendous asset around which to anchor growth as we plan for a more sustainable future. Supported by the Federal Transit Administration, PennDOT, NJDOT, and our county and local governments, DVRPC staff participates in a variety of transit planning work on an ongoing basis, typically in coordination with or on behalf of our transit agency partners: SEPTA, NJ Transit, and DRPA/PATCO. We support local transit planning efforts through data collection, specific planning projects, and the identification of emerging national and international best practices.

  • Planning Tools

    To support effective transit planning, DVRPC develops planning tools to understand more about what is happening in the region and how to plan for the future.

    • Regional Transit Screening Platform

      Regional Transit Screening Platform

      This platform contains a set of screening tools that shed light on public transit needs and opportunities in the DVRPC region. Use it to generate and evaluate ideas for service, operational, enforcement, and capital improvements that could be considered for further study.

    • Park & Ride Passenger Origins

      Park and Ride App
      Park & Ride Passenger Origins

      In partnership with SEPTA and PennDOT, DVRPC has a longstanding program to assess public transit station market areas by surveying license plates of the vehicles that are parked at stations and mapping the addresses that are associated with those plates. By exploring the distribution of mapped records, one can get a sense of where a given station's highest concentrations of park-and-ride customers are located, as well as typical drive-access distances.

    • Equity Through Access Map Toolkit

      Equity Through Access Webmap
      ETA Map Toolkit

      The Equity Through Access (ETA) project is an update to the region's Coordinated Human Services Transportation Plan (CHSTP). This interactive web-based tool demonstrates disparities in access to essential services like hospitals, health clinics, recreational spaces, senior centers, and more in the Greater Philadelphia region.

    • RideScore

      RideScore app RideScore

      RideScore is an online database that assesses the physical and demographic characteristics around transit stations that relate to how supportive of bicycling the area is, or could be. The database focuses on commuter rail stations outside of Center City Philadelphia as well as trolley and subway terminals, where having direct, safe, and nonmotorized access between transit stations and a person's origin and/or destination is a challenge.

  • Recent Publications

    DVRPC routinely publishes a number of transit specific studies. Listed here are the most recent publications. These products are available through our Resource Center at 215-592-1800 or via email at

    • Station Area Planning for the Norristown High Speed Line Extension to King of Prussia

      The King of Prussia Rail (KOP Rail) project is a proposed extension of SEPTA’s Norristown High Speed Line. This study was designed to identify and evaluate a variety of factors that influence the environment for walking and biking in each proposed station area of the extension.

    • East Whiteland Train Station Feasibility Study

      This report provides a comprehensive inventory and assessment of the existing conditions to identify feasible and viable locations for a new Regional Rail station in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, PA. Various factors were considered when identifying feasible and viable locations for a new station. Those considerations included existing conditions, railroad requirements, station program elements, and train service. Taking these, and additional factors, into consideration, two viable train station sites were identified for further evaluation: Immaculata Station Site and Three Tun Station Site. Station concept plans, access and circulation improvements, operations and service, ridership forecasts, and cost estimates were developed for both sites.

    • Route 15 Trolley Modernization: Operations Analysis for Eastern Girard Avenue

      SEPTA is preparing to replace its trolley fleet with accessible light rail vehicles. This project tests the travel time effects of new trolleys on Route 15 using a microsimulation model. We estimate that replacing trolleys with curbside-lane-running buses would yield either a travel time penalty, or a very slight benefit for transit riders, depending on the interventions made. We find that modern trolleys can offer significant travel time savings within the study area, and even greater travel time savings when prioritized in a dedicated right-of-way.

    • South Philadelphia Transportation Center

      This study investigates the best location for a transit facility in South Philadelphia where SEPTA-owned property is limited. Bus operations analyses and conceptual site designs were conducted for sites that were favored.

    • Exton Station Concept Plan

      This study evaluates existing and ongoing plans and projects at and in the vicinity of Exton Station. This includes, but is not limited to, new access points for vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian movements, as well as safe bus stops and layovers, and expanded parking.

    • Modern Trolley Station Design Guide - SEPTA Suburban Transit Division: Routes 101 & 102

      The Modern Trolley Station Design Guide: SEPTA Suburban Transit Division provides practitioners with design guidance on creating accessible stations, and introduces Trolley Modernization's benefits and constraints.

    • Modern Trolley Station Design Guide - SEPTA City Transit Division: Routes 10, 11, 13, 15, 34, and 36

      The Modern Trolley Station Design Guide provides practitioners with guidance on the design parameters needed for modern trolley stations along SEPTA's six City Transit Division trolley lines (Routes 10, 11, 13, 15, 34, and 36).

    • Concept Development for Transit on Delaware Avenue

      Analysis shows that adding rail transit along the waterfront has real challenges--lower existing population and employment density than typically justifies rail investment, relatively low bus ridership, an active freight line operating within most of the corridor's median, and capacity demands stemming from its proximity to the I-95 interstate. Given those challenges, implementing near-term improvements to existing bus service could build public transportation ridership and foster the multimodal corridor envisioned in the Delaware River Waterfront Corporations Master Plan for the Central Delaware.

    • Radnor Station Connectivity

      This project evaluated the feasibility and benefits of consolidating two rail stations to improve the connection between the Paoli/Thorndale Regional Rail Line and the Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) in Radnor Township, Delaware County.

    • Ivy Ridge Station - Creating a Hub for Multimodal Development

      DVRPC analyzed existing conditions at Ivy Ridge Station in Philadelphia. Proposed recommendations include a series of phased physical improvements around the station to improve multimodal access to the station parking lot and platforms, as well as coordinated policy initiatives to encourage mixed-use development. The recommendations seek to realize the neighborhood vision of Ivy Ridge Station as a local transportation hub that is attractive, safe, and accessible for all users.

    • Enhanced Bus Service on West Chester Pike

      This study was conducted by DVRPC to improve the quality and effectiveness of bus service on West Chester Pike between West Chester Borough and the 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby. This report describes an operational concept for Enhanced Bus Service (EBS) along the corridor that includes consolidated stops, improved passenger amenities, and branded service. Localized pedestrian improvements are also identified for 12 priority stops along the route.

    • Analysis of Modernization Scenarios for SEPTA Route 34

      This project used microsimulation software to test the travel time and delay outcomes of various trolley modernization scenarios for the street-running portions of SEPTA Route 34. In general, higher levels of intervention resulted in higher levels of projected cumulative travel time benefit.

    • Vehicle Technology Analysis for SEPTA Routes 29 and 79

      This report compares the costs and benefits of: (1) trackless trolley service restoration; (2) continued diesel-electric hybrid bus service and removal of trackless trolley infrastructure; and (3) a battery-electric bus pilot program. This analysis informs a feasibility determination based on costs as well as non-monetary factors.

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  • Programs

    Below are programs where DVRPC staff provides technical assistance or guidance to local governments on a wide range of topics.

    • Safe Routes to Transit (SRTT)

      This technical assistance program matches eligible municipalities and counties with DVRPC staff to navigate the often-complex process of designing and funding pedestrian and bicycle improvements around rail stations.

    • Coordinated Human Service Transportation Planning (CHSTP)

      DVRPC is responsible for facilitating the CHSTP process for the Greater Philadelphia region. DVRPC's regional plan coordinates and prioritizes investments under three programs: Job Access and Reverse Commute (JARC) Program, New Freedom Initiative, and Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities. In 2016, the Equity Through Access (ETA) project was first published as DVRPC's update of the region's CHSTP. ETA seeks to improve economic and social opportunity in the region by expanding access to essential services for vulnerable populations - those who are more critically impacted by barriers and gaps in infrastructure, service coordination, and policies.

    • Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)

      TOD is compact, mixed-use development within an easy walk of a transit station. Its pedestrian-oriented design encourages residents and workers to drive their cars less and ride mass transit more. DVRPC has developed a number of analyses that track existing TOD in the region and evaluate where it may be best to invest in this type of development.

    • RideECO

      RideECO is the region's commuter benefit program that employers can offer to their employees to help pay for commuting on transit or by vanpool. It saves employers and commuters money because the program takes advantage of federal legislation that allows tax-free dollars to pay for transit fares.

  • Resources
    • Alternatives Development for Roosevelt Boulevard

      DVRPC conducted this project to take a fresh look at transit needs for the Roosevelt Boulevard corridor in response to public requests for improved transit. This project's focus was on developing improvement strategies that could be achieved at grade within the existing cross section, at comparatively lower cost and in a shorter timeframe than the subway/elevated line that has historically been the focus of transit planning efforts for the corridor—and which remains a long-term ambition.

    • Building On Our Strengths: Evaluating Transit-Oriented Development Opportunities in Greater Philadelphia

      This application is designed to complement DVRPC's report titled Building on our Strengths: Evaluating TOD Opportunities in Greater Philadelphia. Both the report and the application are designed to identify potential opportunities for public and private investment near rail stations in the region.

    • SEPTA Bus Stop Design Guidelines

      The purpose of this document is to provide SEPTA, municipalities in the SEPTA service area, local developers, and other local partners a consistent set of guidelines for designing surface transit stops.