Wednesday, August 13, 2003

ROUTE 29 HEARING SCHEDULED A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16 in South Philadelphia regarding the "temporary bus detour" for trackless route 29. The 29 was "temporarily" converted to diesel bus due to the reconstruction of the Tasker Homes project in South Philadelphia and extended to Pier 70. The hearing will start at 6:30pm at the Barrett Nabuurs Rec Center, 2738 Dickenson St. Although SEPTA's tariffs are calling this a "temporary" bus operation, you get the feeling that SEPTA would rather have nothing to do with trackless trolleys, which is a damn shame...

UPGRADES ON THE MEDIA TROLLEY SEPTA is in the process of awarding a contract to upgrade 10 crossings along the 101/Media and 102/Sharon Hill trolley lines. It would appear that this would cover the mainline corridor between 69 St Terminal and Shadeland Av. The bids are expected to be opened in August with an award due by September or October at the latest.

MORE CONSULTANTS? Fresh off the controversy between City Council and SEPTA management over the Market St El reconstruction, SEPTA is soliciting proposals for "Affirmative Action Consulting Services" for the project. On the surface, it appears to be nothing more than lip service by SEPTA to get City Council off their collective backs, but still, you have to wonder (1) if funding for these "consultants" will come out of the capital budget and (2) if not, how is SEPTA going to be able to pay for it given the financial uncertainty in Harrisburg.

EL RUNNING SLOWER Speaking of the El, service between 30 St and 15 St is running slower than usual due to the track renewal along the subway-surface tunnel. Most of the track has been removed between 22 St and 15 St eastbound. Rail renewal crews from Elmwood have, for the most part, been efficient enough to have normal service resume on schedule. On a related note, the 34 bus bridge ended this weekend, with reports that the track bed along Baltimore Av is in fact smoother than it was prior to the track renewal (as one would expect).

BRT IN FUTURE FOR CENTRAL JERSEY? The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's Regional Citizens Committee held a meeting yesterday at the Bourse, despite the massive power failure that struck Center City. (For the record, I was trying to get there on time, however when I got to the Bourse, power there had failed and was not restored until around 1:20pm, when the bulk of the meeting had ended. This, coupled with the slower running El and the even slower operator I was stuck with on the 10:15am 104 from West Chester (3263/4216 block), which arrived at 69 St Terminal 12 minutes late, prevented me from making it to the meeting on time.) The major topic of this meeting was a proposal by NJ Transit to operate a Bus Rapid Transit system connecting the US 1 corridor between Lawrence Twp, Mercer County and South Brunswick Twp, Middlesex County. An official alternatives analysis is due to be issued by NJDOT and NJ Transit by the end of the fall.

COATESVILLE RAIL STATION IN BAD SHAPE Today's Daily Local News reports that the Coatesville City Council approved a study regarding the renovation of the Coatesville Train Station, which is presently served only by limited Amtrak service. Preservation Pennsylvania recently listed the station - and the Amtrak stop in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County - among the 10 most endangered historic sites in Pennsylvania.

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