Train ser­vice for Val­ley should get an­other look

The Morning Call - - TOWN SQUARE | A PLACE TO BE HEARD -

Four years ago, the Lehigh Val­ley Plan­ning Com­mis­sion’s Long Range Trans­porta­tion Plan de­voted a scant three para­graphs to the prospect of re­viv­ing pas­sen­ger rail ser­vice be­tween the Lehigh Val­ley and New York City or Philadelph­ia, ad­mit­ting that “lit­tle has been done” to ex­plore it.

The com­mis­sion an­nounced the “Road to Rail ini­tia­tive” that year to con­tinue gaug­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of such an in­vest­ment. Speak­ing at a gath­er­ing for Am­trak’s 2016 ex­hi­bi­tion trip across our rails, Eas­ton Mayor Sal Panto ex­pressed his sup­port: “Get­ting [pas­sen­ger rail ser­vice] back would be an eco­nomic boon for the Lehigh Val­ley.”

But this week, with­out any find­ings from that ini­tia­tive ever hav­ing been re­leased, our lo­cal lead­ers de­murred. In its qua­dren­nial re­port re­leased on Oct.1, LVPC made not a sin­gle men­tion of pas­sen­ger rail ser­vice among the $6 bil­lion in projects wish-listed for the next 25 years.

This March, it will have been a decade since the last mean­ing­ful com­pre­hen­sive study was per­formed on re­viv­ing re­gional pas­sen­ger rail ser­vice in the Lehigh Val­ley. Is di­ver­si­fy­ing the con­nec­tion be­tween our grow­ing re­gion and the largest metropoli­tan ar­eas in the world truly not wor­thy of fur­ther ex­am­i­na­tion? Jared R. Pi­ette Beth­le­hem Town­ship

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