Reading, PA — The Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority will be holding its inaugural meeting on Wednesday, July 6, to establish the groundwork for the entity that will be overseeing and implementing the restoration of passenger rail service between Reading and Philadelphia. The hybrid meeting will be held in the Commissioners’ Board Room of the Berks County Services Center at 3 p.m.
The public and media are invited to attend either in-person or virtually through Microsoft Teams. Connection information and the meeting agenda are available on the Online Public Meetings page of the County of Berks website.
The Commissioners in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties each approved the creation of the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority (SRPRA) following public hearings in April. The authority is supported with equal representation and funding from all three counties, starting with a $100,000 investment from each county. The Commissioners from the three counties recently received the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2022 Regional Planning Award during the Chamber’s Economic Development Luncheon. The award was presented to the Commissioners for creating the SRPRA and supporting the initiative to restore passenger rail service in the region.
The SRPRA will have the power to formalize agreements, pursue funding opportunities and partner with rail operators and state and federal transportation agencies. During its first meeting on July 6, the authority will address organizational needs such as electing officers, adopting bylaws, setting a meeting schedule and discussing items such as fulfilling staff positions, developing a website and setting a budget. The authority consists of nine members, with three appointees from each county. The following individuals are serving as the inaugural members of the authority:
• Christian Leinbach, Berks County Commissioner
• Marian Moskowitz, Chester County Commissioner
• Kenneth Lawrence Jr., Montgomery County Commissioner
• Jim Gerlach, President of the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance
• Eddie Moran, Reading Mayor
• Brian O’Leary, Director of the Chester County Planning Commission
• Peter Urscheler, Phoenixville Mayor
• Scott France, Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission
• David Zellers, Director of the Montgomery County Commerce Department
The County of Berks has also established a nine-member technical committee that will assist and support the County’s SRPRA representatives. The County of Berks SRPRA Technical Committee will also hold its first meeting on Wednesday, July 6, at 4 p.m., immediately after the authority meeting.
More information about the SRPRA and the work done thus far to bring passenger rail service back to the region is available at www.countyofberks.com/passengerrail.