Sad sights in both Reading and Bethlehem are the iron fences around what were the passenger railroad stations to Philadelphia. This service was abandon in 1981. SEPTA claims that it was not profitable to operate these lines. I strongly believe that the companies should, even with government subsidies, start them once again. This will be very costly as crews will lay more lines, repair old tracks, and do more ongoing maintenance. There will be renovations of the rail stations. I won’t make extravagant claims that these expenditures ultimately will save the government money. Even so, it would be a good public works project.
Just about everywhere in this country heavy traffic is a problem. I hate to take a trip anymore. Our metropolitan areas are expanding continually. Just look at the local weather forecasts today vs those of 10 to 20 years ago. Television and radio stations now give weather conditions within a 100 mile radius. There are commuters who take the 100 mile round trip from Reading or Bethlehem to Philadelphia. This of course contributes to rush hour gridlock. More important, consider the effect on the individual.
The long trip can be exhausting draining energy before work actually begins. No doubt, peoples’ minds are the workday ahead and not the cars around them. Driving home can be even worse after an exhausting day at work. Distracted or tired drivers are major contributors to accidents. Rail service would be much safer for everyone.
Then there is sightseeing. Bethlehem and Reading are reviving their downtown areas. I will talk more about these cities later. People living in either city would enjoy a trip to Philadelphia. In other words, rail service would benefit all three cities. Remember too the last or first stop, depending on the direction, from Center City Philadelphia is the Broad Street Station, at Broad and Lehigh. Two blocks is North the North Philadelphia Station at Broad and Glenwood. This makes for easy connections to Washington or New York. Renovation of the Broad Street and North Philadelphia Stations are important to the revitalization of North Philadelphia.