Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Senate Passes Bill To Encourage Private Development At Mass Transit Stations

The Senate Tuesday unanimously passed Senate Bill 1210 (Pileggi-R-Delaware) to encourage private development at mass transit stations.  A summary and Senate Fiscal Note are available.
The legislation will reform and modernize Pennsylvania’s Transit Revitalization Investment District (TRID) Act, originally enacted in December 2004.
“Pennsylvania’s TRID law is 10 years old,” Sen. Pileggi said. “The goal is admirable: encouraging private development at mass transit hubs. However, only one TRID has been created in the past decade – making it clear that the law needs to be improved. Senate Bill 1210 will allow the TRID program to begin fulfilling its promise.”
Senate Bill 1210 streamlines the TRID creation process, sets clear parameters for TRID funding and the use of those funds, and authorizes a new “tax capture” funding mechanism.
The legislation is supported by a wide range of organizations across Pennsylvania, including the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs, the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, the Pennsylvania Municipal League, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, and the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.
“CCAP believes that a TRID can be an important tool in revitalizing and strengthening our core neighborhoods,” said Doug Hill, CCAP’s Executive Director. “The improvements being made in Senate Bill 1210 will make it easier for counties to include TRIDs in our planning efforts.”
“The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs has been a supporter of innovative TRID legislation since the original act was passed several years ago,” said Ed Troxell, PSAB’s Director of Government Affairs. “We’re extremely pleased that Senator Pileggi’s amendments to the act will provide expanded options for the use of TRIDs in our boroughs throughout the Commonwealth.”
“One of the reasons that the TRID program hasn’t taken off is that there have been limited funding options,” said Elam Herr, Assistant Executive Director for PSATS. “Senate Bill 1210 helps rectify that issue and will make the program much more effective.”
“After the passage of the historic, comprehensive transportation funding bill last fall, we are seeing long-awaited and much-need investment into vital infrastructure across the state,” said Gene Barr, President and CEO of the PA Chamber. “This legislation helps see to it that Transit Revitalization Improvement Districts remain a useful tool in spurring local economic growth alongside these investments.”
“I’m pleased that the Senate approved the proposed TRID amendments, as well as two demonstration programs,” said Richard Bickel, DVRPC’s Director of Planning. “TRID offers a step-by-step process to accomplish transit-oriented development in Pennsylvania’s communities. The Senate’s amendments enhance opportunities to achieve implementation of TRID plans.”
“Like public-private partnerships, Transit Revitalization Investment Districts represent another valuable ‘tool in the toolbox’ to promote partnerships, foster innovation and create new options to develop and fund transit-oriented development,” said Rob Wonderling, GPCC’s President and CEO.
“We are very supportive of these necessary amendments to the TRID Law that will add flexibility, remove bureaucratic burdens, and will prove how valuable this tool can be at leveraging private sector investment to bring much needed funding to transit-related projects throughout the state,” said Kevin Acklin, Mayor William Peduto’s Chief of Staff and Chairman of the URA Board. “As the only project in the state that has been able to use TRID financing, our East Liberty Transit Center team has demonstrated just how necessary these amendments are. We hope to prove with our private development partners just how effective this funding tool can be at getting much needed public infrastructure built with added flexibility and less red tape.”
A public hearing on Senate Bill 1210 was held in Upper Darby Township earlier this year, not far from SEPTA’s 69th Street Transportation Center in Upper Darby, which serves the Market-Frankford (Blue) Line, the Norristown High Speed Line, the Route 101 and Route 102 Trolleys, and numerous bus routes.
The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

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