Tuesday, February 18, 2003

  • WHAT A MESS Depending on where you live in the Tri-State area, transit service either was severely curtailed or cancelled due to the blizzard:

  • DART First State was not operating at all on Monday (there's no scheduled service on Sundays) and Tuesday, due to a state of emergency declared by Gov. Minner on Sunday which was lifted early Tuesday morning. However, DelDOT reported numerous abandoned vehicles along DART service territory, particularly in the City of Wilmington (where a state of emergency was still in effect as of mid-day Tuesday) forced the buses to be idled for a second day.
  • NJ Transit bus service in South Jersey (including Mercer County) was suspended until early Tuesday morning. Service in South Jersey is running normally, however delays can be expected.
  • SEPTA is a collosal mess, as you can expect. On the Railroad side, the R6 Cynwyd line is not operating at all due to the poor weather conditions (much to the dismay of Fearless Leader, who lives in the Wynnefield area, if I'm not mistaken). The R2 Marcus Hook/Wilmington line is not operating into Delaware, partially due to the weather conditions and the fact that DART is not operating. The R5 Paoli/Thorndale line is not operating beyond Malvern (which does me no favors, since I have to get to work in Downingtown later tonight, and would rather endure a three hour lecture in ethics from Richard Maloney and Patrick Nowakowski than even think about dealing with Krapf's). Apparently, Amtrak is operating Keystone service between Harrisburg and Philadelphia (my roommate was able to book a reservation to Minneapolis via Chicago for today), but SEPTA can't run trains to Thorndale?
  • The P&W and Media/Sharon Hill trolleys were idled on Monday. Service on the 101 and 102 resumed on Tuesday, however the P&W remains out of service. However, the subway-surface lines were running as scheduled, except for the 36, which is currenly shuttling between the Elmwood Carhouse and Penrose Plaza. The El and Broad Street Subways were also running fairly normal service, however during the height of the storm, buses were used between Fern Rock and Olney. All trains are running as locals, with not A/B skip stop on the El or Express trains on the Broad Street Line.
  • On the bus side of things, service within the City of Chester was suspended due to poor road conditions on Monday. Most of the other routes were operating, but with major delays (though I don't think I saw a single 104 bus operating at all in the evening).
  • As of Tuesday, the 120 was not operating to Cheyney (which wouldn't have mattered anyway, since the campus was closed for the day). Depending on whether you believe SEPTA or SmarTravler, the 5, 8, 19, 29, and 35 are either on detour (SmarTravler) or not operating at all (SEPTA). In addition, the SEPTA web site reports that "a number of City and Suburban Transit Division bus routes operating on local detours" (emphasis added). Fine, but which routes? It is next to impossible to get through to the Travel Mis-Information Center, so you think SEPTA could be just a little less lazy and a little more specific?
    With most of the clean-up complete, SEPTA should return to somewhat normal service by tomorrow, but somehow I doubt it.

  • FORDS DAYS ARE NUMBERED SEPTA has released an RFP for the purchase of 28 27-foot cutaway buses, with an option for up to 14 more, meaning that the junkers at Frontier and other contract operators will be gone by the end of the year - we hope... A pre-proposal meeting was scheduled for today, however that might not be happening due to the mess that SEPTA's system is due to the weather. Bids will be accepted until March 7, with SEPTA Board approval expected by April or May. This could mean that the Fords will be gone by the end of the summer, depending on when the buses are built.

  • MORE BIKE RACKS SEPTA is planning to purchase 500 bike racks to be installed on the NABIs and the 5400-series New Flyers. The contracts will be awarded at next week's SEPTA Board meeting.

  • TROLLEY TROUBLES During the height of what would normally be the AM peak, two trolleys collided in the tunnel near 30 St. A 13 car en route to Yeadon rear ended an Overbrook bound 10 car just past 30 St Station at 7:45am. KYW 3 reports that 12 people were taken to area hospitals and treated for minor bumps and bruises. As a result, the subway surface lines were on diversion until 8:30am.
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