As the Navy Yard’s plans for expansion continue, including for the potential of eventually living there, changes in transportation options are being discussed.
A group of politicians recently spoke in favor of the Broad Street Line being extended farther south to service the Navy Yard.
A previous study predicted that an extension of the subway service would cost around $370 million.
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The arguments in favor of extending the BSL to the Navy Yard are mainly economic and logistical. Grady said extending mass transit would allow for even more jobs to be located there. Currently, there are around 11,500 jobs at the Navy Yard. Today, Grady said he hoped to one-day see 40,000 – the 2013 Master Plan projected just 30,000. At it’s peak when it operated as a naval shipbuilding base, the Navy Yard had around 47,000 employees working there, who mainly drove. Today, rush hour traffic there is congested, and it will only get worse.
Grady pointed to the Navy Yard Shuttle as proof that the Navy Yard needs mass transit. Since it’s start, ridership on the shuttle, which runs a Center City loop making two stops on Market Street and then throughout the Navy Yard and another loop to-and-from AT&T Station near Pattison Avenue, has risen 400 percent to around 2,000 riders per day, said Grady. The implication: even more would use the subway.
Of course, those figures may be a bit inflated compared to the subway: the Navy Yard Shuttle is free.
The argument against extending the BSL is equally simple: It will be very expensive. In March, PIDC officials told PlanPhilly they use $500 million to ballpark the costs of an extension. Federal funds could cover about half of that, with the rest coming from state, local and private sources.