Kennett Square Borough and Kennett Township seek funding for micro-transit study
● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough and Kennett Township are working collaboratively to file an application for a grant that could be used to conduct a micro-transit study of the Kennett Square area. The study could lead to the addition of some form of public transportation for residents in the Kennett area.
Nate Echeverria, the economic development director, said at the March 2 Kennett Square Borough Council meeting that the township and the borough will be jointly applying for a $100,000 grant.
The municipalities are applying for federal funding that has been directed to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, which works to improve the region’s transportation system through a variety of programs and projects. Kennett Square Borough and Kennett Township would utilize the funds to retain consultants and to complete a study of micro-transit opportunities.
“Step one is to do a study,” Echeverria said, explaining that meetings have already been held with the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), which also works on public transportation issues in the area.
The municipalities would be required to put up some matching funds if they receive the grant. The borough’s portion of the matching funds would be approximately $7,500.
Borough council member Ethan Cramer said that bringing some sort of additional public transportation to Kennett Square residents has been a clear priority, and a need, for a long time.
John Thomas, a borough resident, said that he would like to see a motorized trolley system in Kennett Square because it would fit well with the historic character of the borough.
“It could be distinct to the Kennett area,” he said. “You get a trolley, people will see it from five blocks away. You’ll know where it is, you’ll know where it is going.”
Council member Peter Waterkotte agreed with Thomas, saying that he grew up in Pittsburgh, a city which was known for trolleys, and the trolleys are very distinctive for a community.
Echeverria said that one aspect of the study would be to look at who the potential ridership would be. They already reached out to the Kennett Area Community Service and the American Mushroom Institute for input about the needs for additional public transportation in the area.
Echeverria said that they should know soon whether the application is approved.
“We’ll hear back in April if we’re selected,” he said.
In other business at the March 2 meeting, borough council authorized the Special Event Applications for the Kennett Run on May 16, the Kennett Memorial Day Parade on May 25, and the Kennett Brewing Company’s 5th anniversary block party on June 20.