Friday, July 05, 2002

ARCHIVES - 07/05/02

During yesterday's Welcome America festivities and price gouging festival ($2.00 for a 16 ounce soda?) along the Ben Franklin Parkway, 33 SEPTA buses, a mix of NABIs, New Flyers, Neo artics, and Neo 3264 were staged along 21 and 22 Sts on either side of the Parkway. The buses initially were staged along Spring Garden between the El Station and 5 St. Buses involved were Allegheny 7103, 7105, 7110, 7112 and 7147; Callowhill 5005, 5427, 5429, 5446, 5449, 5450, 5463 and 5465; Frankford 5249, 5344, 5355, 5360 and 5361; Midvale 3264, 5156, 5157, 5164, 5172, 5183, 5212, 5222, 5229 and 5239; and Southern 5471, 5474, 5480, 5486 and 5491.

As the buses were staging at Spring Garden, several passengers waited at the Spring Garden El station for the 4:43pm 25 to Frankford to show up - it never did. Supervisors on site were far too busy preparing the buses which would later transport tourists out of the Parkway area after the fireworks to follow up on a missing 25 bus, which I'm sure is going to play very nicely along Aramingo Av. The 5:13pm 25 to Frankford did show up, however I'm sure that driver got an earful from passengers forced to wait in the opressive heat (though there was plenty of shade with the large El/I-95 overpass) at Spring Garden.

Incidentially, Broad St Subway, El and Subway-surface service ran on a regular Sunday schedule. If last year's fiascos at the 19 St, 22 St, and 30 St stations are any inidciation, then I would imagine that streetcars and El trains were ridiculously overcrowded. SEPTA needs to understand that extending service hours and adding extra service are two different things. There's no reason why El service couldn't operate every 5 minutes, nor any reason why 4 or 5 subway-surface cars couldn't operate between City Hall and 40 St Portal or 49 & Woodland.

Midvale 5193 - operating on the 47 (3306 block) was apparently retrofit with the newer sign control panels used on SEPTA's new buses starting with the Neoplan artics. The sign control panel on 5193 is in approximately the same position as they would be on the newer buses - over the operator's head and to the left. I would guess that the rest of the NABI fleet will follow suit.

The City of Philadelphia is testing a new Thomas/Dart SLF200 low floor bus on the Phlash Center City loop. The bus is CNG powered and has red and blue stripes instead of the purple livery on most Phlash vehicles. The destination sign is supposedly a TwinVision LED, however the word "Phlash" is labeled in the sign areas rather than using the signs themselves.

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