Thursday, March 07, 2002

ARCHIVES - 3/6/02 & 3/7/02

March 7, 2002

It's that time of the year again. SEPTA's Operating Budget hearings for Fiscal Year 2003 are scheduled for the first week of May at the following locations:
  • Monday, May 6: Bucks County Courthouse, Main & Court Sts, Doylestown (Route 55)
  • Tuesday, May 7: Montgomery County Human Service Center; Community Room, Main Floor, 1430 DeKalb Pike, Norristown (Routes 96 and 98)
  • Wednesday, May 8: Delaware County Government Center, Council Meeting Room, 1st Floor, 201 W Front St, Media Courthouse (Routes 101, 110, and 118)
  • Thursday, May 9: West Chester Municipal Building, Council Chambers; 401 E Gay St (Routes 104, 119, and 314)
  • Friday, May 10: SEPTA Headquarters, Board Room, 1234 Market St, Philadelphia
All hearings will begin at 1:30pm, except for the hearings at SEPTA Headquarters, which will begin at 11:00am and 5:00pm. I wouldn't expect anything controversial this year, unlike last year's hearings which featured the infamous fare hike.

March 6, 2002

El service was disrupted during last night's PM peak period following two bomb threats. The first occured at Millbourne Station at 5:31pm, when a cell phone call reported a suspicious package brought on the train at 56 St. When the train arrived at Millbourne, passengers were taken off that train and forced to wait for the next train. At 6:00pm, a second threat was reported on an eastbound train at 60 St Station. Shuttle buses pulled in off of runs from Callowhill were put into service. The shuttle buses were detoured off of Market via 61 St, Chestnut, and 57 St, as the area around 60 St/Market St was blocked for one block in each direction on both 60 St and Market St. Buses operated until 7:10pm, when train service to 69 St was restored. Also affected by the detours were the G, 31, and 46 buses...

Prior to the incidents on the El, the 11 and 36 trolleys were detoured off of Woodland Av due to a suspicious package reported by Philadelphia Police in the area of 40 St. Buses were deployed to shuttle passengers in that area, though I haven't heard what the full detour routing was...

Route 79 was busing last night following a possible fireboming at 15 St/Snyder Av in South Philadelphia. The incident occured at around 11:00pm, causing delays on the 37 and 79...

Tonight's PM peak hour commute isn't going to well either. Due to power problems on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line, R1 Airport, R2 Marcus Hook/Wilmington, R7 Trenton, and R8 Chestnut Hill West trains were running approximately 30-40 minutes late. Some trains to the Airport were annulled as well...

Over the weekend, a teenager crashed through a window on the mezzanine of Market East Station, landing on a passenger waiting for a Reading-side bound train. The incident occured in the area of Tracks 1/2 in Section A, in the same area as the 11 St entrance to the El. While this hasn't been confirmed, there were believed to be no major delays on Regional Rail lines. (Side note: did somebody say "lawsuit"? It's almost inevitable, even though it was the kid's fault for horsing around in the stairwell area.)...

Upper Merion Township's Residential Rambler service was restructured on Monday. Service no longer operates in Bridgeport, however service was recently re-routed to serve West Conshohocken Borough. There are now 6 trips per day on the Blue Loop (which serves the northern and western parts of Upper Merion) and the Green Loop (which serves the east side of Upper Merion and West Conshohocken) between 9:00am and 12 noon and from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Saturday service apparently has been eliminated.

  • The CART service along City Avenue now accepts SEPTA TransPasses and TrailPasses. It would be nice if some of the other TMA-managed services - particularly those in Chester and Bucks Counties - would follow suit...

    The first of three public hearings on Schuylkill Valley Metro took place last night at the Upper Merion Township Building. More than a few of the speakers in favor of the so-called "MetroRail" proposal were practically reading some of the same statements verbatim, particularly as it related to the Enola Branch and improvements to the Phoenixville area. Those who support the $1.8 billion alternative - which would include SEPTA building separate tracks for the entire length between Norristown and Reading - as opposed to a more rational and cost effective plan which would include track sharing seem to have studied their talking points memos very carefully.
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