I want to make a few points here.
I live here, nearby the section where the NHSL planned line is to be built. I remember going to the voting booth back during the 2018 election and mentioning to some people about the rail line and how we should vote to help it by voting Democrat. I was told no, it dosen't matter which party we vote the rail line is going through. I was told that because of the casino, the rail line will be forced though one way or another if trouble arises. It is staggering to me the amount of complacency that is endemic to this area, and how riled up and relatively active the opposition is.
However I'd definitely agree apathy's a larger factor. First, at least as I see it there hasn't been enough done to answer the "what's in it for me?" questions raised by local residents. That's been compounded by the fact that while the LPA had the lowest negative reaction it was also probably low on the plus side. The limited number of stops don't offer much local service. The common perception is that "the line is only to get workers to the Mall", which ignores areas like First Ave. and the number of existing inbound commuters who'll be pulled from the 12X buses as well as from jammed parking lots at Gulph Mills and King Manor. Second, the project's lugubrious pace (~7 years and still filing papers) has left the impression that it's another SVM-like case of SEPTA planning and planning but never doing. Certainly much of this delay is out of SEPTA's hands due to regulatory requirements but it doesn't help public perception.
* [Symbolism intentional]
I remember one of the routes in the Environmental proposal actually went around to the old golf course, going along the PECO right of way, I don't know why it was scrapped. Especially with all the new high density housing their building.
It's expensive only because the government highly subsidizes interstate and highway infrastructure construction. If they threw that kind of money towards SEPTA we would see this built tomorrow.
The feds have poured money into the Eisenhower interstate system at a rate of 90-10 under the federal highway act of 1956, 90% federal funding and 10% state funding. At the time this was legitimized as a national security measure of sorts, the roads viewed as a way to move military equipment and supplies in a time of war. Fun fact, the military can shut down federal highways at any time for this reason and bridge clearances are made for tanks.
Normal federal projects work around 60-40 or so federal to state, again depending on the project.
But what really chaffs my hide right now is the current presidential administration. I know I'm throwing a rock at a hornet's nest right now, but there are some realities we need to face. President Trump has been toxic toward transit, with his most recent transgression demanding back money from California for the money was allocated for the high speed rail project. https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la- ... story.html
Additionally, the head of the DOT is Elaine Chao. For the record she is considered a distinguished member of the heritage foundation, the same heritage foundation whose goal is to eliminate the DOT https://www.heritage.org/transportation ... sportation
. The same heritage foundation that helped torpedo the Nashville transit program https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/clim ... ansit.html
. She is currently embroiled in a scandal because of her husband Mitch McConnel's rather unethical relationship https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/ ... ip-1163655
In the above story about Nashville, they actually used a software called i360 which targeted "anti-transit" advocates, essentially concentrating and targeting the crazies to mobilize the opposition.
Central to the work of Americans for Prosperity is i360, the Kochs’ data operation, which profiles Americans based on their voter registration information, consumer data and social media activities. The canvassers divided the neighborhoods into “walkbooks,” or clusters of several dozen homes, and broke into teams of two.
There are rules: No more than two people at a door (to avoid appearing threatening). No stepping on lawns (homeowners don’t like it). And focus strictly on the registered voter. If anyone else answers, say a polite “thanks” and move on.
Then the FTA has been pulling their own stunt's which I've detailed before viewtopic.php?f=72&t=166520&p=1483004#p1483004
Regarding that link, funds are still
on hold http://t4america.org/transitfundingdelays/
, and it got to the point where congress has put language in so that 80% of the money must be spend by December 31st of this year.