Friday, February 14, 2003

  • WASHINGTON TO THE RESCUE SEPTA will be getting some valentines in the form of federal funding from the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation. Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-6) and Rep. Joe Hoeffel (D-13) secured $9 million in federal funds for the Schuylkill Valley project (though I have to wonder if they know what they're getting into). SEPTA also secured $5.57 million in funding for its successful access to jobs reverse-commute program. On a somewhat related note, Rep. Joe Pitts (R-16) managed to secure $1 million for the Berks Area Reading Transportation Authority (BARTA) earmarked for fleet replacement (specifically, the retirement of the Orion I bus fleet); Pitts' district now includes a small portion of Berks County, including part of the City of Reading. There may be more transportation funding on the way once the Senate approves appropriation bills, according to flacks for Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum (both R-Pa.).

  • MORE BUSES FOR CHESCO The good news for residents in the Parkesburg and West Sadsbury Twp area is that there will be new bus service starting March 3. The bad news is that the service will be operated by Krapf's. The service, known as the Coatesville Link West will connect the Parkesburg area with the city of Coatesville and their Coatesville Link service, which serves Coatesville, South Coatesville, Modena, and the northwestern edges of Caln Twp (though there's no convenient service to the Thorndale Rail Station, which would dramatically improve connections to the Coatesville area). The Coatesville Link West would serve downtown Parkesburg and the West Sadsbury Commons Shopping Center, where Chester County's first Wal-Mart opened last May. Coatesville Link West is managed in part by the City of Coatesville and the TMA of Chester County. Now, this may be asking too much, but I would expect that one of these days, TMACC will actually enter into a fare agreement with SEPTA to allow TransPasses and TrailPasses to be accepted as valid fare, but as long as Krapf's continues to provide substandard service between the West Chester and Coatesville areas, then I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  • RAIL RELIEF AT LAST The Rail Power Project will continue over the next two weekends, however, service will operate somewhat normally through the Center City tunnel, as work will now focus on the inner tracks in the tunnel, allowing for rail service to operate between 30 Street and Market East. Delays could be expected over the next two weekends, however, full rail service will continue for the first two weekends of March due to the Flower Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (notice the name, Emperor Street: PENNSYLVANIA Convention Center). Starting with the weekend of March 15 and until the end of June, the R2 Marcus Hook, R5 Paoli Thorndale, R7 Trenton, and R8 Chestnut Hill West will terminate at the lower (Amtrak) level of 30 Street Station, the R3 Media Elwyn will terminate at University City, and the R1 Airport Line will return to shuttle bus service for the remainder of the project.
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