Tuesday, April 30, 2002

ARCHIVES - 04/30/02

A fight on board a 33 bus delayed service in Center City late this afternoon. At approximately 5:45pm, a male passenger allegedly assulted a female passenger with an umbrella on board 7205 (Route 33/5175 block), forcing the driver to stop the bus at 19 & Vine Sts. SEPTA Police and three supervisors arrived at the scene. 7205 was taken off its scheduled run and passengers put on other buses...

A large contingent of Philadelphia and SEPTA Police converged on the 1100 and 1200 blocks of Market St at around 5:00pm after reports of a flasher in the area. Police had 11 and 12 Sts to traffic for a few minutes as officers converged on the Loews Hotel, located next to SEPTA Headquarters. The police activity caused several minutes of gridlock while officers searched for the suspect...

Turnout was low at the ASP Hearings in Media and Andorra this week. About 6-7 people spoke at Media Courthouse on Monday night, most of whom expressed opposed to the restructuring of the 115.Part of the opposition centered on the elimination of 115 service north of Brookline, but also some complaints were made regarding the lack of Saturday service to MacDade Mall via Folcroft and Norwood.

At the Roxborough hearing tonight, about 20 people appeared at the Houston Rec Center, most of whom were opposed to the Andorra route restructuring. Only 2 speakers were in favor of the plan, but mainly they were opposed to the artics running through the neighborhood.There was some tension between a couple of opponents to the restructuring - including an elderly city employee and a phone company employee who has riden the 9 (and it's predecessor, PTC Route A) for nearly 35 years - who took exception to the "newer" residents of the neighborhood and their seemingly intense opposition to any transit service in the neighborhood.

The issue in Andorra seems to have caused a generational split or sorts. The older residents spoke out in opposition to the plan, expressing concern about reduced hours of service and the lack of a direct link to Center City. The newer residents in Andorra were mainly in favor of the plan to extend the 35 to Andorra and cut the 9 back to Summit Loop.The plan's supporters appear more opposed to the number of buses running in the neighborhood than anything else, particularly the artics from Allegheny that cover the 9 service at all times. This is one good reason that Allegheny should have some 40-foot buses instead of being an all artic depot; that and and off-peak weekend ridership would barely fill a 40-footer.

Oddly enough, no hearings on the ASP were scheduled in Havertown, Ardmore, or Manayunk. My guess is that SEPTA figured out that transit dependent riders in Ardmore, Havertown, Llanerch, and Manoa - the people who would be affected most by the cuts on Route 115 north of Brookline - would not have convenient access to the Media trolley after 7:00pm.Now, when SEPTA held hearings on the route improvements in Bucks County, at least three hearings were held in Central and Southern Bucks Counties - as I recall, they were held in Doylestown, Oxford Valley, and Levittown. But, of course, why should SEPTA allow too much input from riders in Delaware County? After all, Tom Heyward hasn't been chairman of SEPTA since 1999.

As far as Manayunk goes, I don't think SEPTA took the needs of the loyal 35 riders who travel "up and down the hill" between Main St and Ridge Av before planning the 35changes. SEPTA's Andorra Plan - however well intentioned - seemed to be influenced more by the non-transit riders in Andorra rather than taking input from people in Manayunk, Roxborough, AND Andorra.

And don't even get me started on the plans to reduce weekend service to West Chester on the 104. That would probably take up a couple of pages alone...

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