Closing the transportation gap
Krapf Coaches connects with the Philadelphia Navy Yard
The Philadelphia Navy Yard enjoys a distinguished history as the nation’s oldest naval shipyard. However, in the mid-1990s the Federal Government Base Realignment and Closure program necessitated shifting most of the facility’s functions to other locations due to changing priorities. This threatened to substantially damage the regional economy, until a unique hybrid mix of government and private interests emerged to change what could have been a major setback to this booming regional economic engine.
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Beginning in 2000, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation began acquiring what would eventually amount to 1,200 acres of the facility, and then invested more than $130 million in infrastructure improvements. Its efforts quickly attracted the businesses that now occupy more than 6.5 million square feet of office, industrial, and research space.
The organization also invested more than $700 million in private capital in the Navy Yard. This public-private partnership now boasts 143 companies that employ a total 11,000 people, and promises further growth in the near future.
To serve the facility’s transportation needs, the Navy Yard began the search for an efficient way to help employees commute to work and to get around the facility located south of Philadelphia’s Center City. The site is convenient but somewhat removed from public transit in several areas.
Closing that gap to make it easier for employees to use mass transit required another hybrid effort of public and private resources.
The Navy Yard contracted with nearby Krapf Coaches to operate scheduled service to connect with the public transportation system. As one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier and most diversified bus companies with unique strengths that complement the existing mass transit infrastructure, the Navy Yard saw this company as its ideal choice. Krapf also signed on to run a shuttle loop within the business campus.
“One bus circulates the campus all day long, connecting all of the businesses and the Broad Street subway AT&T Station,” says Gary Krapf, company president and grandson of founder George Krapf. “This is even more convenient because it is directly in front of the Philadelphia Sports Stadiums in South Philly.”
Krapf currently operates more than 2000 school buses, 20 luxury motorcoaches, 35 transit buses and 88paratransit vehicles. Its transit division alone carries more than 550,000 passengers a year, largely in partnership with Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).