East Whiteland, Chester County – On Thursday November 12, the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), a local advocacy organization for the improvement of transportation in Chester County, hosted Congressman Patrick Meehan for its Annual Legislative Breakfast.
Congressman Meehan discussed the funding and benefits of a long-term transportation bill. “The success of a 6-year bill is that it creates certainty for planning,” said Meehan, “It’s not crisis, year-by-year planning. Now it can be a commitment to look at long-term projects.”
Tim Phelps, Executive Director of TMACC stated that approximately 450 projects, valued at $3.5 Billion, are in Chester County are not on the County’s Priority projects, 12-year program, nor the 4-year Transportation Improvement Programs, due to a lack of funding available. “A robust long term federal transportation bill with predictable and reliable funding would enable us to deliver these legacy projects,” said Phelps.
Congressman Meehan went into discussion of how the Ways and Means Committee is looking into funding the bill. “It is tremendously difficult to fight for dollars for different types of programming, when you see defense and social programs and others all competing for those dollars. So the commitment to be able to get this approved and to have a sustainable program going for those six years is the accomplishment. How we get to the next three years is a great deal of discussion.”
The Congressman also went on to applaud his members in Congress for keeping an emphasis on mass transit and rails to trails in the Transportation Bill. “Rails to trails created an integration of movement that has been unparalleled…in an urban center like ours, rails and trails is a wise investment.”
In addition to Congressman Meehan, TMACC honored long-time SEPTA employee and General Manager Joe Casey, who recently retired in September. Commissioners Michelle Kichline and Kathi Cozzone presented Casey with a Citation for his commitment to improve Chester County and his service to the Greater Philadelphia Transportation Network.