Saturday, December 28, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 18:19
Monday, December 23, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 16:37
Friday, December 20, 2002
SEPTA blames fallen leaves for last month's abysmal on-time record. Environmentalists decry insensitive remarks; general manager appears on Discovery Channel to apologize.
For once SEPTA has it right as several rail lines were impacted because of slippery rail conditions (especially the R5 Paoli Thorndale line, where the #591 train was routinely 10-15 minutes late getting into Thorndale). Here's my problem: City Paper should know that "Fearless Leader" wouldn't be the one making the apology. That job would go to SEPTA's chief spokesman/apologist/liar Richard Maloney, as "Fearless Leader" does a better job ducking the media than Andy Reid. And we all know that "The Big Guy" ( (C) Bob Grotz of the Daily Times) has a far better track record coaching the Iggles than "Fearless Leader" has done at SEPTA.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 14:17
Thursday, December 19, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 12:14
Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 14:02
Monday, December 16, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 09:42
Sunday, December 15, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 16:58
Friday, December 13, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 15:00
Sunday, December 08, 2002
At the same time the subway-surface tunnel went out of service, an eastbound El train was taken out of service due to a door problem on car 1048. Siffuce to say that the next El train was very overcrowded.
Additionally, over the past 2-3 days, there have been numerous problems reported along Baltimore Av, with shuttle buses filling in for trolleys on the 34 off and on.
SEPTA wants to begin construction by 2003 and have the service running by 2007. The service would have stops in Phoenixville, Royersford, Pottstown, King of Prussia and other suburbs northwest of the city with major commuter traffic problems.
2007? What planet is SEPTA on if they think they can get this "Metrorail" mode built by 2007? Remember that neither Delaware County nor Bucks County has given a full committment to Schuylkill Valley, and there's a strong shot that Delaware County could derail this plan, unless they get something tangible in return (read: a full restoration of the R3 Elwyn line to Wawa and West Chester).
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:07
Saturday, December 07, 2002
The Inquirer article also notes that while Emperor Street's change of heart on Schuylkill Valley could increase the boondoggle's chances in Washington and Harrisburg, the wild cards in this matter are the continued luke warm reactions from Bucks County and Delaware County. Bucks County seems to have two advantages to turn the tide in favor of Schuylkill Valley: (1) SEPTA Board Chairman/Radio Impresarior/Turnpike Commissioner/Land Developer Extraordinaire and All-Around Arrogant Tyrant Pasquale T. Deon Sr. seems to be SEPTA's second biggest cheerleader for the MetroRail boondoggle (behind Fearless Leader, natch); (2) Gov. Really Lame Duck (Mark Schwieker) - a Lower Bucks native - is the new president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, which is planning to merge with GPF, which is one of the biggest SVM boosters; and (3) Bucks County stands to see more boondoggle bucks if and when the Cross County MetroRail boondoggle ($1.2 billion and counting) is ever built.
Meanwhile, I wouldn't expect Delaware County to suddenly become enthusiastic over Schuylkill Valley anytime soon. Even though a P&W extension to King of Prussia would obstensively benefit Delaware County, the entire project would be built in Montgomery County. Plus, the extension of the R3 Elwyn line to Wawa (the now inactive station located on US 1 in Chester Heights) has seemingly been pushed to the back-burner, as has potential further restoration to West Chester. No offense to Delaware County's two board members - Tom Babcock and Tom Killion, both of whom seem to have the best interest of their consituencies - but where's Wally Nunn when you need him? I highly doubt MetroRail would even be on the radar screen for either Cross County or Schuylkill Valley if Nunn were still active within the SEPTA Board.
Long story short, at a time when property taxes are skyrocketing within Philadelphia, Emperor Street couldn't have picked a worse message to send to most city residents (save for those in the Manayunk area, where the SVM would operate) that the city is behind a $2 billion boondoggle that would mainly benefit Berks and Montgomery Counties (and have a token impact on Chester County).
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 11:30
Friday, December 06, 2002
- The R2 Warminster Line suffered delays due to downed wires near 9 St and Girard, right near the portal entering Market East Station. The incident occured at around 4:00pm. Service on the R7 Chestnut Hill East line was also affected by the downed wires
- Despite reports that buses were running about 15 to 20 minutes late, during the tail end of the AM peak, the 92/133 was running at least 30 to 40 minutes late
- The 101 Media trolley is still running buses as of 2:00pm Friday due to impassible conditions on State St in downtown Media
- A passenger suffered a head laceration after getting off an R3 train at Primos. The victim was transported to Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, though neither his condition nor his name was released.
Still, SEPTA's decision to offer only generic transit updates instead of detailed detour information hasn't sat well with too many people.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 14:07
Thursday, December 05, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 17:40
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 18:50
Monday, December 02, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:46
Sunday, December 01, 2002
As a result, SEPTA is running buses along the 10 route between Malvern Loop and 36-Lancaster with a diversion around the accident scene via 51 St, Merion Av, and 50 St. At least 4 buses from Callowhill were confirmed to be covering the shuttle - 3083, 3433, 5428, and 5431. Three LRVs are effectively cut off from Elmwood Depot until PECO Energy repairs the pole. 9069 (or whatever number it is) was seen laying over at 53 St between Lancaster and Lansdowne; 9029 (8053 block) was stuck at 51-Lancaster - directly behind the accident scene, and 9032 (8055 block) which was still at Malvern Loop. At last report, service was expected to be restored by mid-afternoon.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 13:46
Saturday, November 30, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 10:43
Tuesday, November 26, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 21:03
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 14:53
Thursday, November 21, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:55
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:03
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 16:38
Monday, November 18, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:54
- Ridership on the Broad Street Line, for example, was boosted by nearly 8,400 riders using the Pattison/Sports Complex station for the Iggles home opener against the Dallas (hey, didn't you used to be the) Cowboys
- Ridership on the 124/125 fell 13 percent, primarily due to the sagging economy; while the King of Prussia malls account for a large number of riders, the office vacancy rates at nearby office complexes north of the malls and along Gulph Rd have increased, with a lot of the "dot.com" and related businesses closing up shop
- Ridership on the 123, however, increased about 8 percent, mainly due to more local ridership along West Chester Pike as riders who would've normally used the 104 during peak hours are discovering that the 123 (and, to an extent, the 112) also covers the West Chester Pike corridor between 69 St and Eagle Rd
- The 123 ridership increases may be a factor as to why ridership on the 104 decreased 7 percent; of course, SEPTA's foolish plans to reduce weekend service to West Chester may have had something to do with it as well
- Ridership along the 113 between 69 St and Marcus Hook increased 10 percent compared to the first quarter of FY'02; I can't seem to figure a reason as to why, but it's possible that people are starting to discover the night owl service on that line
- Ridership on the 35 in September doubled, from 160 riders last September to 335 riders this past September; many of the new 35 passengers are undoubtedly displaced 9 riders in Upper Roxborough and Andorra
- The 61 has also seen an increase in ridership by about 500 riders compared to September 2001; again, this is most likely related to the Andorra route changes
- Compared to last summer, ridership fell sharply on the 98 between Norristown, Plymouth Meeting, Blue Bell, and Willow Grove; it's likely that the Blue Bell area is encountering the same office space problems that King of Prussia and Conshohocken are experiencing (ie. low vacancy rates)
- Despite pitiful reliability during the PM peak periods, ridership on the 92 increased 21 percent from last summer; however, ridership on the 133 fell 16 percent, partially because of missed connections, but there is probably a office vacancy rate issue in the PA 252 and Swedesford Rd corridors in Tredyffrin
- Ridership on the 203 is, well, pathetic. Only 44 riders/day were being counted in September, which tends to tell me, CMAQ grant or not, that this line is in very deep trouble; except SEPTA Board Chairman/Radio Impresiaro/Turnpike Commissioner/Land Developer Extraordinaire (did I leave something out?) Pasquale T. Deon, Sr. will probably have a lot to say about that, since the 203 serves Lower Bucks
- On the other hand, ridership on the other Lower Bucks route seemingly on the endangered list - the 304 - has been steadily increasing (32 percent)
- Ridership on the R5 Lansdale-Doylestown line appears to have returned to pre-Ft Washout levels. Recorded ridership on that line in July 2001 was only 9,166; July 2002 ridership was recorded at 13,462, which is about average for that line
Overall ridership on SEPTA was up 2 percent in the first quarter of the present fiscal year, however numbers may be slightly skewed as the fallout from September 11 impacted ridership.
- Recently, Suburban Operations issued a bulletin order requiring buses deadheading eastbound on West Chester Pike to "work in service", picking up passengers along the corridor. This order came in response to numerous complaints from riders about off-duty buses passing up passengers
- Red Arrow reportedly has recieved "Lateness Cards" which are supposed to be issued to passengers if a delayed bus causes them to be late for work or school
- Neoplans assigned to Red Arrow are not supposed to be used on any route on Sundays; on Saturdays, all lines are supposed to be wheelchair accessible
- The 37, 108 and 305 are apparently being detoured around the International Plaza complex due to construction work. It is expected to be a minor re-routing which will continue to serve existing stops
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 11:22
Saturday, November 16, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 10:23
Friday, November 15, 2002
Wednesday, November 13, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:24
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 17:43
Monday, November 11, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 22:49
Friday, November 08, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 11:13
Thursday, November 07, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:33
Wednesday, November 06, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 21:41
Monday, November 04, 2002
The most amusing bit came when the two were discussing the proposed Schuylkill Valley Metro Rail, which would link Center City to Reading (with a stop in Bala Cynwyd, Main Line Times readers will note). Gerlach, like any local leader who wants to be elected, is much in favor of the proposal, but Wofford darkly proclaimed that - you guessed it - "right-wing extremists" in the GOP would stymie Gerlach's efforts to support mass transit. As if Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were holding Nuremberg-style rallies to burn bus passes and marching against SEPTA. "Javol! Get off zee bus! Vee have vays of making you drive zee SUVs!"
Mr. Wofford apparently hasn't seen the make-up of the SEPTA Board, which is dominated by Republicans who live in the suburbs (disclosure note: I am a registered Repblican myself). Apparently, Mr. Williamson seems to forget that there's a large Jewish population on the eastern end of the Main Line - particularly in Lower Merion - who might be offended by the last two sentences of the above noted paragraph. (The link above deals with what Williamson percieves as a lot of "extremist" talk by Wofford; the above paragraph is in the middle of the article.)
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:31
Sunday, November 03, 2002
- The 104 lists the departure time from New and Market in West Chester as 7:05pm, which is the scheduled time from Church St and University Av on the West Chester University campus
- Information on the 111 - at least the menu - still reflects the Springfield Mall via Glenolden routing which is now part of the 122
- Other routes - particularly the 122 and 305, along with some of the contracted routes - have no information at all; trying to get info on these lines directs you to a customer (dis-)service rep, when the Travel Information Center is actually open. When the TIC is closed, however...
- ...you're booted back to the main menu, which shouldn't be a problem in most cases, except that choosing certain options (ie. pressing # to access the route menus) requires hitting the specific key several times before the system gets it.
It certainly didn't help that the TIC closes at 6:00pm on weekends. The reason for the call in the first place was to attempt to complain about the 6:30pm 108 bus to 69 St Terminal that ran at 6-7 minutes early departing the Airport and passed by several irate passengers waiting at Terminal E.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 21:58
Saturday, November 02, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 11:10
Thursday, October 31, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 17:34
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Monday, October 28, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 13:17
Thursday, October 24, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 11:04
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 17:28
Tuesday, October 22, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:56
Monday, October 21, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 16:01
Sunday, October 20, 2002
Several passengers had noted that there appeared to be fewer trains operating today, despite promises of 10 minute service from Fern Rock. When asked about the apparent lack of trains on the Broad Street Line, the supervisor - whose arrogant attitude probably means he's a closet Cowboys fan - denied that there were missing trains. When I mentioned that the train I was was stalled at Walnut-Locust, his attitude worsened. In other words, there's an assistant's job to Richard Maloney waiting for him if he ever decides to take a desk job at 1234 Market. If you think it's bad this season, wait until next season when the new Eagles Stadium opens and the Eagles and Phillies are playing at once (unfortunately, the Vet will still be open next season) when parking will be worse than it is now. If there ever was an arguement in favor of adding express buses from outlying areas (Frankford, 69 St Terminal, Cornwells Heights, Springfield Mall, Granite Run Mall, West Chester, King of Prussia, Lawrence Park, etc.), today's fiasco would certainly qualify.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 21:45
Friday, October 18, 2002
Thursday, October 17, 2002
This new line is half the price of [Schuylkill Valley], but will still cost almost $1 billion, and is not as sorely needed. Can't we tackle one massive rail line at a time? Can we maybe prioritize? The area has had enough trouble securing money for one rail line, it won't be easy to come up with money for two.
If it weren't for the sometimes dirty politics at SEPTA, someone should hire this guy...
- Buses will depart from 30-Market Sts, then operate via Market, stopping at 16-Market for Suburban Station, then via Market, 15 St, S Penn Sq, Juniper, and Filbert to 11-Filbert (across from Greyhound Bus Terminal).
- The return trip will depart from 11-Filbert, then via Filbert, 10 St, Market St, Juniper, and JFK Blvd to 16 St (for Suburban Station), then via JFK Blvd, 20 St, Market (stopping at 30 St), then loop back to 30-Market via Market, 32 St, JFK Blvd, and 30 St.
- Ex-RDG side lines will stop at Market East and Suburban; ex-PRR lines will stop at 30 St.
- The R1 Airport Line will operate with shuttle buses between University City and Eastwick with a very strange routing. Buses will depart from University City, then operate via Convention Av, South St, 33 St, Chestnut St, Schuylkill Av/29 St, Arch St, 30 St, and into the station driveway itself. From 30 St, the R1 bus will operate via 30 St, Market, 16 St (stop at 16-JFK), Race St, 10 St (stop at 10 St between Filbert and Market), Market St, and I-95 to the Airport. From the Airport to Eastwick, the shuttle will operate via the Departures lane, then via the 37/108/305 routing to Eastwick Station.
- The return trip from Eastwick to University City will operate via Bartram Av, PA 291, the Airport Arrivals lane, I-95, I-676, 8 St exit to Vine St, 10 St (stop at 10 St between Filbert and Market), Market St, Juniper, JFK Blvd (stop at 16-JFK), 29 St, Arch St, 30 St (into Amtrak 30 St Station), JFK Blvd, 32 St, Market St, 34 St, and Convention Av to University City.
Now, for whatever reason, SEPTA decided not to operate from Market East to the Airport via University City and Eastwick, but instead decided to operate from University City to Eastwick via Center City and the Airport. Of course, it would make sense to go east to west through Center City, but remember, this is SEPTA we're talking about.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:02
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
- SEPTA won't improve service on key Red Arrow lines (in addition to the 104's problems, both the 108 and 113 are chronically overcrowded on Sundays, when service operates only once an hour);
- SEPTA can't be bothered to come up with some sort of marketing slogan (a la DART First State's "Getting there starts here" or NJ Transit's "The way to go" or even WMATA's "Metro Opens Doors") without help from the Center City District's Central Philadelphia TMA;
- SEPTA practically caved in to a handful of NIMBYs in Norwood after they whined to their Borough Council and State Rep. Ron Raymond (R-162) about extending the 115 to MacDade Mall via Winona Av, thus forcing SEPTA to create a longer routing via Primos Av in Folcroft and South Av in Glenolden, not to mention the initial inconvenience of 30-45 minute layovers at Darby en route to Delmar Village;
- SEPTA is practically railroading (pun somewhat intended) two boondoggle projects with a combined $2.7 BILLION pricetag when they can be built less expensively, thus mortaging the future on two lines which are seemingly only being built to please TPTB at Norristown Courthouse at the expense of other projects in the region (restoring Regional Rail service to West Chester, Quakertown, and Newtown (Bucks), as well as the proposed Roosevelt Blvd rapid transit corridor); and
- SEPTA has failed to address the sporadic and scaringly frequent operator and vehicle shortages in the suburbs.
But, "Fearless Leader" has managed to take time out of running the 5th largest transit system in the nation to express concern about how the behind the scenes employees at 1234 Market (not just management, but also dispatchers and other control center personnel) are dressed. It must have been a real slow day for "Fearless Leader" to make such a big deal out of it.
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:05
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:13
Monday, October 14, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 20:19
Sunday, October 13, 2002
Posted by Creighton Rabs at 19:59