Thursday, October 30, 2003


First, the good news regarding tonight's detours in West Chester...

SEPTA is apparently aware of the annual Halloween parade which has both Gay and High Sts blocked off.

Now the bad news...

The geniuses in the Control Center at 1234 Market seem to have flunked basic West Chester geography.

During a mid-day call to Travel Mis-Information, the Passenger Dis-services agent confirmed that the 92, 104, and 119 would be detoured. When asked for a specific detour for the southbound 92 from West Chester to Exton, however, these directions were given:

From High and Miner, then left on Miner, right on Wayne St, right on Chestnut, left on High St.

Which would be okay, except for one tiny little problem - you can't turn right off of Wayne onto Chestnut, because Chestnut is a one-way street in the opposite direction. Oops. The agent then claimed the information came from the Control Center (okay, so it's an improvement over two months ago...). Apparently, nobody at the Control Center bothered to call West Chester borough officials to confirm if that was the correct detour.

Anyway, as of 7:00pm, I have not been able to confirm if a white-shirt had been dispatched to West Chester. Also, as of 7:00pm, there have been no bus sightings in the south side of West Chester that have been confirmed.

By the way, there's no mention of any bus detours in West Chester on the SEPTA web site. Which of course is standard policy for non-rail lines operating west of the People's Republic of Lower Merion...


It seems as though SEPTA's brilliant (ha-ha) webmasters have decided to go Puff Daddy on us, as evidenced by this gem from the SEPTA web site, regarding the R5 bus-bridge on Saturday:

Shuttle buses will represent R-5 train service between Thorndale and Paoli Stations starting at 8:13 a.m. inbound from Thorndale and 9:00 a.m. outbound from Paoli.

Wow. All that money, and one would think that SEPTA could afford a thesaurus...


Remember the old NFL Films videos entitled "Football Follies" from the late 1970s and early 1980s? Well, if Steve Sabol ever wanted to branch out from NFL videos and start a new "Follies" series, he can look no further than 1234 Market. Or, at the very least, the R5 Paoli-Thorndale line.

This morning, the #518 train (5:52am from Thorndale to Roberts Yard) arrived into Downingtown 7 minutes late. The only problem was it was with the #9522 crew, which leaves Thorndale at 6:09am (this train used to depart closer to 6:20am, but thank the Rotating Resumes at 1234 Market for screwing that up) using a push-pull set instead of the 4-car Silverliner set normally used on the #518. An initial inquiry led to this response from an assistant conductor who was apparently in training for a job at SEPTA's Ministry of Mis-Information:

"I can not confirm or deny the status of the other train crew only to say that we are "representing" the 518."

For the record, it was a paraphrase of what he said, but you get the idea...

Fortunately, another crew member confirmed that the #518 suffered equipment problems leaving the yard. I was not, however, able to confirm if the #9522 was able to run (though there appeared to be nobody at Exton when I passed by on the 92 en route to West Chester at around 6:45am, so it may have run, but late).

MEMO TO THE CONTROL CENTER AND THE ROTATING RESUMES AT 1234 MARKET: We do have a PA system at Thorndale, Downingtown, and Exton (I can't say anything about Whitford, but I doubt it). It might be a good idea to use it once in a while so we know what the hell is going on...

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