News, rumors, and other information on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority
Monday, January 13, 2003
SCHEDULE CHANGES DELAYED The City Transit schedules will not change until February 23; the original schedule change date was to have been February 16, however computer difficulties have forced a one week delay. In the suburbs, the schedules at Red Arrow will be delayed from February until March 23, while the Frontier schedule changes will be moved up a month from April to the same date as Red Arrow. The reason for the date changes in the suburbs is due to planned detours on the 124/125 as part of the I-76 reconstruction in Upper Merion.
5600s ARE COMING The third batch of the original order of 300 New Flyers are tenatively scheduled to arrive within the next two weeks. The first 45 buses (5613-5667) will now go to Southern with the remainder set to go to Frontier and Midvale. It's highly likely that the next 10 buses in that group (5668-5677) will end up at Frontier, which should expedite the removal of those dangerous Fords from service, and the remainder (5678-5712) to Midvale. As reported earlier, expect a lot of major movements over the next few months, with some NABIs expected to head to the suburbs to replace the 3000s and older 3100s.
DAYS NUMBERED FOR FORDS With some ElDorados being moved from Midvale and Callowhill to Frontier over the past few weeks, some of the 2029-2051 series Fords assigned to Frontier have been taken off the road. On a related note, the replacement cutaways should be going to bid within the next couple of months.
MORE LOW FLOORS DUE NEXT YEAR SEPTA recieved four bids for the next batch of 340 low floor buses, which would begin arriving starting next year. The four bids came from NABI, Neoplan, New Flyer, and Orion. The bid should be awarded as early as next month.
SHUTTLE UPDATES Extra Rail Power Shuttle buses were added to accomodate passengers travelling to the Auto Show at the Convention Center over the weekend, with buses from Callowhill and Southern handling the 30 St to Market East shuttles and Allegheny buses covering the Airport Line shuttles. Because both Allegheny and Midvale were stretched thin on available artics on Saturday, the buses used on the Navy Yard shuttles were from Southern. Assuming a similar shuttle will be in place for Sundays Iggles-Bucs game, there should be enough buses available at Allegheny and Midvale to allow artics to be used.
CHESTNUT STREET CALL TO ACTION SEPTA is leading the call to convince Philadelphia Mayor/Emperor John Street to form a task force to study traffic flow around the Independence National Park area, following Emperor Street's decision to permanently close Chestnut between 5 and 6 Sts to all vehicles and pedestrians. The 9 was moved off of Chestnut onto Market for the entire length between 30 St and 4 St, as was the 38, while the 21 and 42 remain on Chestnut before heading onto Market via 7 St.
128 NOTES A public hearing is scheduled for Thursday, February 13 in Bensalem Twp to approve a route modification on the 128 along the US 13 (Bristol Pike) corridor. The experimental routing via US 13, Hulmeville Rd, and PA 132 (Street Rd) took the 128 off of a poorly patronized segment along Mechanicsville Rd. The hearing will take place at the Maltese Room, 2049 Bristol Pike, Bensalem Twp. On a somewhat related note, word has come down that the 128 and 129 buses are not to operate into the Bucks County Office Center - which is where the Department of Public Welfare offices for southern Bucks County are located - complex at New Rodgers Rd (PA 413) and Rockview Dr in Bristol Twp. The last time I was out there (about 2 months ago), I noticed construction within the complex, which now forces passengers en route to the complex to board along PA 413.