Pluto or new trolleys? 7 Philly projects that cost about the same as NASA’s epic trip

Pluto Reading

Earlier this week, we gawked in amazement at the pictures of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft a mere 7,700 miles away from it. The trip cost about $720 million to fund. It sounds like a lot, but Philadelphia could do it, easily. The city, SEPTA and the management of the Phillies and Eagles have spent about that much money or more on seemingly mundane activities. In fact, a trailblazing rail line to Reading would have cost twice as much as the trailblazing trip to Pluto.

Here are seven projects proposed or initiated in Philadelphia that compare to the cost of NASA’s Pluto excursion.

SEPTA Trolley modernization: $713.5 million

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 1.13.57 PM

City pension costs in the current budget: $687 million

Pensions

Renovation and expansion of the PHL Airport: $6.4 billion

Lincoln Financial Field and the Wells Fargo Center: $722 million combined ($512 million for the Linc and $210 million for the Wells Fargo Center)

The proposed SEPTA rail line to King of Prussia: $650 million

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 1.18.24 PM

Lost water costs in the next 15 years because of leaky pipes: $750 million

water infrastructure

A proposed (and later rejected) high-speed transit line to Reading: $1-$1.5 billion

SEPTA

Let the news come to you

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter brings you the latest Philly news that everyone will be talking about in your Slack channel.

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Did you hear that?

That was the sound of you being informed after reading another BP article. If you believe local information should be free and accessible to all Philadelphians, will you support Billy Penn today?

Informing Philadelphians, one story at a time

Your generous donation brought this article to life. Become a sustaining member today to continue Billy Penn’s work.

Bring a friend into the Billy Penn-verse

Thanks for reading another story! Know a fellow Philadelphian that would appreciate BP? Tell them about our newsletter.