Friday, March 21, 2003

  • $ECURITY AT SEPTA While the increased security at SEPTA may put passengers at ease, the costs involved may not have the same effect to the numbers crunchers at 1234 Market. According to various news sources, the changeover to 12 hour shifts for SEPTA Police and other security measures is expected to cost the agency $400,000 per week. It's really surprising that with all of the money that the newly created Department of Homeland Security has recieved from Congress, there appears to be no special funding programs for mass transit systems to be reimbursed for overtime costs related to the Condition Orange status. Should this status continue for an extended period of time, it will not only wipe out the present surplus for this fiscal year, but will make things even worse for next fiscal year.

  • SERVICE PLAN UPDATE Four public hearings have been scheduled next month regarding SEPTA's revised Fiscal Year 2004 Annual Service Plan. Of the three original proposals on the transit side - consolidation of the 63 and 64 in South Philadelphia, re-routing the 27 via the Ben Franklin Parkway, and extending peak hour trips on the 98 to Willow Grove via Fort Washington and Horsham Township, only the 63/64 consolidation made the cut for the tariff and hearing process. On the railroad side, SEPTA is proposing ending service at two inner-city stops - Lamokin St/Chester (R2 Marcus Hook/Wilmington) and 59 Street (R3 Media/Elwyn) - in addition to extending later evening service on several lines to accomodate events along Avenue of the Arts. The hearings will be held on the following dates:

    • Tuesday, April 22: St Paul CME Church, 1009 W 3 St, Chester
    • Wednesday, April 23: Tindley United Methodist Church, 750-762 S Broad St, Philadelphia
    • Thursday, April 24: Turner Middle School, 59 St & Baltimore Av, Philadelphia
    • Friday, April 25: SEPTA Headquarters, 1234 Market

  • All hearings will take place at 6:30pm, except for the April 25 hearing at 1234 Market, which begins at 10:30am. More details on the plan will be posted shortly. On a side note, has anyone ever noticed that the meeting room at the recently renovated Chester Transportation Center has rarely been used? It's interesting that there haven't been too many reports of community meetings - either by SEPTA or other governmental or community groups - at the CTC since it was renovated, yet that was one of the features that SEPTA had heavily promoted.

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