Tuesday, May 20, 2003

  • THE CONTINUED MIS-ADVENTURES OF PASSENGER DIS-SERVICES AND SEPTA POLICE On Sunday at Suburban Station, the information booth for the Rail Power Project was actually staffed by 4 SEPTA Transit Police officers, rather than Regional Rail division employees. This was rather unhelpful when a passenger requested a Rail Power Project timetable for the R3 Elwyn line and was unable to find one. When the complaintant (who requested anonymity, for obvious reasons) requested a schedule, the officers directed my source to the timetable racks, which did absolutely no good, as they were the regular weekday timetables. It's not as though the police officers staffing the booth have any idea what the passenger was talking about. When a Regional Rail employee arrived, things got a little testy. After trying to explain that there were no R3 Elwyn weekend RPP timetables, the RRD employee reportedly got confrontational. Despite further explaination, the officers ordered my source to leave the area; come to think of it, if that incident is true, the officers at the RPP booth would've made perfect Passenger Dis-Services reps, given the state of customer service on the RRD in recent months. The correspondent reports that there were actually 3 officers staffing the booth; the 4th (the spy ID' the officer as shield #344) was reportedly in the Passenger Dis-Services office placing a personal phone call - on a SEPTA telephone when he passed through the station, though the officer returned to the booth when the call was completed. Of course, it's not as though anyone is going to get mugged on the El or Broad Street lines or shot while on the Subway-Surface lines while 4 officers are deployed as "customer service agents" at Suburban Station. And that's not counting the 2 SEPTA police officers directing traffic at 30 St and JFK Blvd when that should really be the domain of the Philadelphia Police or Amtrak Police (since 30 St is technically Amtrak property). Gee, you think that maybe these officers would be better utilized by actually riding the system and not acting as customer service reps? And you wonder why the public seems to have an unfavorable opinion of SEPTA's police department?

  • HEARINGS END WITH A BANG Nearly 700 people filtered in and out of Room 201 at the Convention Center yesterday to express opposition and make strong comments about SEPTA's proposed service cuts and fare increases. Not so surprisingly, the strongest comments came from members of Philadelphia City Council, which recently voted to essentially control the purse strings regarding the city's $56 million subsidy to SEPTA. For more blow-by-blow details on the hearings, click on these two links below:

    Inquirer article on Philadelphia hearings

    Daily News article on Philadelphia hearings

    For coverage from the other four hearings:

    Courier Times/Doylestown hearings

    Inquirer/Media hearings

    Delaware County Daily Times/Media hearing

    Daily Local News/West Chester hearing

    Inquirer/Norristown hearing

  • TAKE A NUMBER The anger in the editorial pages on SEPTA's plans are not just coming from the Daily News, but it's starting to come from the burbs as well. Take this editorial from this past Sunday's Delaware County Daily Times for example.

  • SLOW PROGRESS After several articles over the past few days, The Daily News reports that SEPTA has fixed most of the damaged call boxes that were uncovered during a routine investigation. Wow, it only took them about 2-3 years (at some locations) to do something about it. Now if they can scale back some of their draconian service cuts, then we'd be in great shape.
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