Wednesday, October 30, 2002

  • SEPTA's problems maintaining scheduled service apparently are not confined to the suburbs. There have been days where service levels on the 27 have not been met, with reports of 2 buses being spotted on the 27 within a 35 minute period during Monday's PM peak. Part of the reason may be due to heavy congestion on the Vine St Expressway and the Schuylkill Expressway.

  • In addition to the problems on the 27, the 35 has been suffering from chronic lateness, mainly because the ElDorado buses used on the 35 are having difficulty making turns through the Manayunk routing. Cars are apparently blocking the turns, which has caused cascading delays along the line. In addition, despite the increased ridership, there are rumors that the "new" 35 routing may be endangered, due to complaints from some people along Silverwood St, which has some of the steepest grades in Manayunk.

  • On a brighter note, the "new" Bridge Street between Penn St and Frankford Av is now reopened to traffic. It will have little to no impact on SEPTA routes in the area, since the construction of the new Frankford Terminal is well underway. As for rumors about the demise of the trackless lines in Northeast Philadelphia, that doesn't appear to be the case right now, as new trolley poles and catenary are being installed in the north side of Frankford Depot. That tends to tell me that the trackless service in the Northeast appears to be safe once service is restored next year. The new Bridge St was reopened at a ceremony attended by - among other people - "Fearless Leader" and outgoing U.S. Rep Bob Borski (D-3). The Northeast News Gleaner reports that part of the former Bridge St will be used to allow storage for additional buses for assignment at Frankford Depot. The new terminal building will be opened next summer.

  • The board of supervisors in East Vincent Twp rejected a proposal to build a bus shelter at the intersection of PA 724 and Hill Church Rd, which is served by the 99 bus. The Pottstown Mercury reported that supervisors were less than thrilled with the proposed design of the shelter, which one supervisor called "ugly."

  • And now, for the Press Brown-Noser of the Week, we present Keith Phucas of the Norristown Times-Herald. In Monday's Times-Herald, Phucas' story on the Schuylkill Valley rail project came off as so slanted in favor of "MetroRail", you'd have thought he was on the SEPTA payroll. My question is how could the editors of the Times-Herald allow such a slanted, one-sided "news" story to have run in their paper? Phucas seems to think that Pennsylvania's congressional delegation will be making a trip to Norristown in the near future to hand over a blank check for $900 million - half of the cost of the proposed "Schuylkill Valley MetroRail."

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