In 1981, the Federal Government under the leadership of President Ronald Reagan issued new policy that eliminated funding for
passenger train service. Upon doing so, states were left with being forced to fund their own operations. Pennsylvania Gov.
Dick Thornburgh made the decision not to provide state funding to cover all of the state's intercity passenger trains. This
included the Pottsville-Reading-Philadelphia line.
Between 1979 and the end of service in 1981, the highest number of riders that the Pottsville line carried was 609.
PA-TEC believes that DVRPC's estimate of 3,500 riders on a restored Wyomissing/Reading-Philadelphia rail service is unrealistic. An intercity service with low service, few stops, high fares will only generate ridership close to the 1979 figure of 609.
DVRPC has not provided compelling evidence that a market exists for SEPTA commuter rail service. PA-TEC therefore does not support the DVRPC "SVM-Lite" proposal.