Friday, December 20, 2002

  • DAYS NUMBERED It appears that the 76 (aka Spree) is about to go the way of the Mid-City Loop - that is to the dead list. SEPTA is planning a public hearing on Wednesday, January 23 at 10:00am to begin the elimination of the Center City money drain that is the Spree. Despite a recent claim by SEPTA that the Spree was carrying nearly 400 riders per day, most observers saw maybe a handful of riders at any given time. Unless the City of Philadelphia or the Center City District is planning to cut funding, I would expect a lot of political heavy hitters to cry foul...

  • BUSTED Four juveniles were arrested by Lansdowne Police after an investigation into the vandalism at the Gladstone Rail Station (R3 Elwyn). The graffiti, some of which included ethnic slurs, was discovered on December 8 and reported to SEPTA and Lansdowne Police. According to the Delaware County Daily Times, the four juveniles, who were not identified but reportedly do not live in Lansdowne, face several charges including institutional vandalism, criminal mischief, and ethnic intimidation. Well, here's hoping that upon conviction, these punks should be forced to perfom community service by cleaning up litter at SEPTA's rail stations and possibly at the main bus terminals as well. I'm sure the unions aren't going to be too happy with that idea (in that it's their work), but it's not fair to the employees of SEPTA to be taken off other maintenance projects to clean up after vandals.

  • SILLY ITEM OF THE WEEK This week's City Paper brings us the following item which deserved a laugh or two:
    SEPTA blames fallen leaves for last month's abysmal on-time record. Environmentalists decry insensitive remarks; general manager appears on Discovery Channel to apologize.
    For once SEPTA has it right as several rail lines were impacted because of slippery rail conditions (especially the R5 Paoli Thorndale line, where the #591 train was routinely 10-15 minutes late getting into Thorndale). Here's my problem: City Paper should know that "Fearless Leader" wouldn't be the one making the apology. That job would go to SEPTA's chief spokesman/apologist/liar Richard Maloney, as "Fearless Leader" does a better job ducking the media than Andy Reid. And we all know that "The Big Guy" ( (C) Bob Grotz of the Daily Times) has a far better track record coaching the Iggles than "Fearless Leader" has done at SEPTA.

  • 27 TROUBLES In recent weeks, service on the 27 during the evening hours has been even less reliable than some Red Arrow routes, if that's even possible. Between the heavy congestion on I-76 and in the area of Plymouth Meeting Mall, plus the poor acceleration of some of the 3 year old Neoplan artics, the on-time performance of the 27 has become spotty to say the very least. Perhaps SEPTA might want to explore running some peak hour and "shift change" 27 trips express via 476 and the Schuylkill Expressway to Center City via Wissahickon in order to give some passengers a faster trip to the city.

  • CAN'T PLEASE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ALL OF THE TIME No matter what SEPTA does with the 35, it seems that some groups in Manayunk is always complaining. This time, the complaints center over the congestion caused by the 30 footers operating along the narrow streets of Manayunk such as Sliverwood and Leverington. The constant congestion along Main St also doesn't help matters much, particularly that difficult turn off of Green Ln onto Main. Now, SEPTA is reportedly considering changing the routing again, though no firm details have come out yet. Talk about your no win situation...

  • 63 UPDATE Apparently, there is increased ridership on the 63, at least on the eastern end of the line near the Pier 70/Walmart complex off Delaware Av. Hence the departure of the ElDorados from Callowhill. As part of the as yet released FY 2004 Annual Service Plan, SEPTA is reportedly proposing to consolidate the 63 and 64 into a single line with service operating on Washington Av to Pier 70 via the Ellsworth-Federal Subway Station as opposed operating along Christian and Catherine (63) or Ellsworth and Federal (64). One of the reasons the often poor performing 63 seemed to hang on as long as it did was political pressures by some players in South Philly.
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