By David Madden

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The long-closed Franklin Square station along the Patco high-speed line is one step closer to returning to service.  Maybe.

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Officials of the Delaware River Port Authority, the transit agency that operates Patco, have decided to apply for federal funding that would cover the bulk of the $28-million cost of reopening the station and bringing it up to today’s required standards.

The DRPA’s latest study suggests that reopening the station under Franklin Square, near Seventh and Race Streets, wouldn’t increase ridership all that much but would enhance the line’s availability, as well as the area economy.

CEO John Hanson says their application will be submitted to the feds by early next month.

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“There would be a 20-percent match,” he explains, “so we would put up 5.6 million if we got the full amount and the feds would put up 22.4 million.”

Hanson says they expect an answer within a few months.

The nearly 80-year-old station has been dormant since 1979, closed at the time because so few people used it.

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Hanson says board members seem to be excited about the idea of reopening it, as long as Patco can afford it.