The KOP Rail Project is complex, and the process of finding a preferred alternative for the project required the development and review of multiple alternatives. Each alternative featured a potential alignment the rail extension could take to reach King of Prussia. The analysis included a No-Build Alternative. The goal was to narrow down the number of alternatives based on which best meets the evaluation criteria and public input to ultimately identify one Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

The trunks and branches identified in the Long List of Alternatives were evaluated using Tier 1 screening criteria. The Tier 1 screening criteria included:
  • Does the alternative meet the project's stated Purpose and Need?
  • Will the alternative be reasonable to build, operate and maintain relative to other alternatives?
  • Can the alternative be built to the correct design and safety specifications within the proposed right-of-way?
Upon completion of this initial screening, 12 alternatives emerged from the Long List. These alternatives followed three elevated trunks to reach the King of Prussia Mall: the U.S. Route 202 trunk; the PECO trunk; and the PECO/PA Turnpike trunk. From the Mall, each alternative followed a series of different elevated branches to other destinations in the King of Prussia area.

In response to comments received from stakeholders and the public, SEPTA also explored the possibility of 12 at-grade alternatives. The at-grade alternatives were evaluated using the same Tier 1 screening criteria as the elevated alternatives.

> 12 Alternatives
Tier 2 evaluation criteria consider factors beyond feasibility and constructability. As part of Tier 2, SEPTA evaluated the accessibility of increased transit service for customers and how well proposed stations can serve the needs of customers. Tier 2 also considered potential impacts on a number of natural and built environment issues. Finally, the alternatives were also evaluated for how they can support planned development and future growth of both the project area and the region as a whole.

> Project Mapping
> 202 Preliminary Alternatives
> PECO Preliminary Alternatives
> PECO/PA Turnpike Preliminary Alternatives
The final tier of the alternatives analysis and environmental screening, Tier 3, carried the best alternatives from Tier 2 into a process that includes more detailed design, analysis of impacts, potential mitigation opportunities, and coordination with the public and stakeholders. Five Build Alternatives were analyzed in Tier 3. Tier 3 also included the announcement of a Recommended Locally Preferred Alternative (Recommended LPA) for review and comment by the public and stakeholders. It was determined the Recommended LPA best satisfies the stated needs for the project while minimizing overall impacts to the community and was included in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The LPA was adopted by SEPTA’s board in January 2018.

Links to five Build Alternatives are shown below
> Route 202 PECO/TP - 1st Ave. Altnative
> PECO/TP - N. Gulph Alternative
> PECO - 1st Ave. Alternative
> Route 202 - 1st Ave. Alternative
> Route 202 - N. Gulph Alternative