PennDOT Coughs Up Money For New Train Station In Coatesville

SEPTA logo with text

Image via Wikipedia

This is a very interesting move for several reasons.


The train “station” at Coatesville is presently crap and ridership is low in part because the station is a shack with no amenities like a ticket booth or bathrooms for starters.  Having been there once it totally creeped me out.


Once the new station is built SEPTA has no plans to increase service.  They will “wait and see” if the “build it and they will come” mentality works.  If ridership increases, SEPTA will increase service.  SEPTA feels it makes no sense to expand ridership at a little-used station but it DOES make sense to spent $16.3 million dollars to build a new station, platforms, pedestrian overpass etc…  Hmmmmmm…


PennDOT wants to get in on the project with transit-oriented development that will hopefully stabilize the neighborhood and bring economic development to Coatesville.  PennDOT is committing $15 million dollars to the project and the station is not even designed yet.  (BUT THERE IS NO MONEY TO REBUILD THE KEIM STREET BRIDGE WHICH CARRIED 9400 VEHICLES PER DAY OVER THE SCHUYLKILL RIVER.)


Another goal is to make SEPTA riders feel safe while waiting for a train.  Okay, you get a point for that since presently it is scary.


The coolest part is that PennDOT is conferring with elected leadership in Coatesville, Chester County and taking the pulse of the neighborhood.  What a concept!  Getting ideas from residents.  (Pottstown might want to consider this approach instead of “Father Knows Best”.)


It is commendable that PennDOT wants to be involved in economic development.  Coatesville has demonstrated needs.  But, so does Pottstown which is MUCH larger and has a critical bridge which is indefinitely closed with no money allocated to repair or replace it.  I would think the Keim Street Bridge should be a priority over giving $15 million dollars to build a new train station, not even in the development stage, at a little-used SEPTA stop.  $15 million dollars should pay for a new bridge!

Police Arrest Crime Spree Suspect While Sovereign Bank Robber Still At Large

Chalk up another win for the good guys.  Marcus White of Philadelphia was on a crime spree in Montgomery and Chester counties prior to his arrest on June 2nd.  The suspect has been linked to robberies in Lower Pottsgrove Twp., Limerick Twp. and Coatesville.  Mr. White shot a senior citizen in the leg during the Turkey Hill robbery in Lower Pottsgrove Twp. because the elderly employee could not open the safe.

There are two other male suspects involved that still remain at large.  The investigation into their participation in these crimes is ongoing.

Because one of the robberies includes a US Post Office, Marcus White is facing federal charges in addition to the convenience store armed robbery charges and a shooting! The suspect was stealing money orders, cash and lighters.

In related news, the Sovereign Bank in downtown Pottstown was the scene of an armed robbery Tuesday afternoon.   The suspect wore a mask and carried a gun.  He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Customers were inside the bank during the robbery but no one was hurt.

The FBI description of the suspect is a black male, six-foot two and wearing an Air Jordan hoodie with a BMX-like face mask.  If you have any information, call the FBI at 215-418-4000 or the Pottstown Police Department at 610-970-6570.  A reward is being offered and you can remain anonymous.  The suspect is armed and dangerous but I think that goes without saying since he just robbed a bank at gun-point.

Let’s make this robbery another example of why crime doesn’t pay!