The City of Philadelphia has been awarded more than $7 million in competitive federal funding for five projects that will improve air quality and reduce traffic congestion, including a move to purchase several new compressed natural gas (CNG) waste haulers and install a CNG fueling station.
According to the city, the grants were announced at a press conference Aug. 5 at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. The funds come from the federal Competitive Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) program and are distributed by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC).
“Residents of Philadelphia will greatly benefit from this infusion of $7.3 million to projects that reduce emissions and help the city meet federal air-quality standards,” says 1st District Councilman Mark Squilla, who represents the city of Philadelphia on the DVRPC Board. “We are making strategic investments using technology to enhance recreational and commuting opportunities and neighborhood quality of life in several communities. The city is very appreciative of DVRPC and our regional partners’ support of these critical projects.”
The $7.3 million will fund the following five projects:
- Advancing CNGs in Philadelphia – $2,000,000 to purchase new waste haulers that run on CNG, which reduces engine-related methane emission. This grant will leverage further investment from the city of Philadelphia to purchase additional CNG waste haulers and Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) to construct a CNG fueling station for the vehicles.
- “Philadelphia will be joining other forward-looking cities in adopting CNG technology, advancing the City and PGW’s joint commitment to create a cleaner, greener, healthier Philadelphia for all,” says Craig E. White, president and CEO of Philadelphia Gas Works.
- The city’s managing director, Mike DiBerardinis, adds, “These waste haulers will serve some of Philadelphia’s most disadvantaged and most heavily-polluted neighborhoods and will provide cleaner air to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable citizens.”
- Navy Yard Contra Flow Loop Shuttle – $416,280 to allow the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation and Navy Yard master developer, to increase the frequency of shuttle service between the Navy Yard and AT&T Station on the Broad Street line.
- Ramping up to Rapid Transit on Roosevelt Boulevard – $1,999,500 to construct 10 new bus stations at five intersections on Roosevelt Boulevard, supporting a new bus service currently planned by SEPTA for this corridor.
- Reformatting N. 5th Street – $2,020,000 to improve a segment of North 5th Street in the Hunting Park neighborhood of North Philadelphia. This CMAQ funding will support signal upgrades and fiber optic interconnection to improve signal coordination and timings. It will also allow for the construction of bump-outs, corner sidewalk improvements, pavement markings and street lighting upgrades at intersections.
- Fox Chase Lorimer Trail – $868,700 for a half-mile multi-use trail connecting the Fox Chase Regional Rail station at Rhawn Street to over 16-miles of existing trails along the Pennypack Creek in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. The rail-to-trail will serve nearby residents, regional rail commuters and the Fox Chase business district.