Wednesday, January 29, 2003

  • NEXT ON THE BLOCK ... PHLASH Although not the most important point in his annual budget address, Philadelphia Mayor/Emperor John Street announced that the City of Philadelphia will be discontinuing the City managed/SEPTA operated Phlash shuttle bus as early as this summer. Emperor Street seems to think that transferring from a north-south route to the 15 bus on Girard is the most convenient way to reach the Philadelphia Zoo. Regarding Phlash, the Emperor said this:

    The [Five Year Financial] Plan eliminates our subsidy of the PHLASH (sic) shuttle buses. Usage of the shuttle buses has deteriorated to levels that no longer justify the city's contribution and other transportation is available. The elimination of City support will save $9.4 million through FY08.

    The elimination of Phlash also leaves a very sticky situation on two fronts. (1) The status of most of operators from the Trenton-Philadelphia Coach Divison based at Germantown Depot would most likely be in doubt, even though the TPC Division also operates the 310/Horsham Breeze, 311/Commonwealth Breeze, and 316/LUCY services. Though the Germantown operators are TWU 234 members, they work under a separate bargaining agreement from full-time City Transit Division operators and mechanics. (2) The disposition of the city owned fleet of Phlash buses (7 Orion II low floors - 4 CNG and 3 diesel - and at least 3 obsolete MetroTrans Legacy buses) should be very interesting. Hopefully, SEPTA won't be forced to buy these junkers from the City and some other transit systems in the Northeast may be paying attention.

  • FRONTIER'S LATEST PROBLEMS The good news - for shoppers and sprawl lovers - is the opening of the new Ikea store on Alan Wood Rd off of Ridge Pike in Plymouth Township within the past two weeks. The bad news - for Montgomery and Chester County bus riders in particular - is that a significant number of runs originating out of Frontier Depot have been delayed getting to their respective start points (Norristown, King of Prussia, West Chester, Chestnut Hill among others) due to a massive increase in traffic at Ridge and Alan Wood. This past Saturday, the 133 that was supposed to depart King of Prussia at 1:00pm and arrive in West Chester as a 92 at 2:14pm (6025 block) was running about 10-15 minutes late. The 1:00pm 133 was the start of the operator's run, which was delayed because of the heavy traffic. Please send all thank you notes to Plymouth Township (700 Belvoir Rd, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462) for their wonderful long term planning as it relates to traffic congestion in the Plymouth Meeting area and its indirect impacts on neighboring suburbs...
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