Thursday, September 19, 2002

ARCHIVES - 09/19/02

And then, there was one... Due to upcoming construction around the areas of the Tasker Homes projects in South Philadelphia where the 29 has it's western terminus, it's very possible that the only trackless line remaining in service for SEPTA would be the 79 along Snyder Av. The plan by the City of Philadelphia would be to run Morris St through the complex (there are presently two turns west of 30 St).

SEPTA's initial plan was to operate buses between 13 St and 33 St with tracklesses operating between Front and 23 St. Because of the tight turns onto 13 St, that proposal would not appear to be an option. Another option that was considered was to reroute the tracklesses on Tasker between 29 and 32 Sts, which would require (1) new overhead along 29 St between Tasker and Morris, (2) two-way operation along Tasker, which is one-way in the westbound direction, resulting in the loss of parking in that stretch (and if there's one thing people in South Philly get fired up over, it's the loss of even a single parking space) and (3) new overhead along Tasker on the eastbound side of the street. So far, neither of these options appear to be feasible.

The planned bus substitution would start as early as the February 2003 sign-ups, and last for at least 3 years. It's probable, given SEPTA's past history towards streetcars and trackless trolleys (see the 15/23/56 controversy), that this long-term "substitution" could spell the beginning of the end for electric trackless trolley service in the City of Philadelphia, if the "temporary bus substitution" in Northeast Philadelphia hasn't hastened this already.

Despite being about 2 weeks behind the rest of the routes, SEPTA has finally issued a new Route 108 timetable, dated September 15. Also recieving a new timetable with that date is the 28 bus between Fern Rock and Northeast Philadelphia, which is presently operating on a detour routing off of Rhawn St in Fox Chase.

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