Tuesday, October 14, 2003


Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse on the 104, they get much worse...

Earlier tonight, the operator of 4241 block - generally one of the least reliable operators on the line in recent memory, as the 11:05pm trip from West Chester is usually 10-15 minutes late every night - took her bus out of service due to foggy windows. At least that was the report from a couple of irate passengers, who had been waiting for the 10:12pm from 69 St to West Chester. The passengers had arrived at 69 St at around 9:20pm and were returning to West Chester University.

According to the people I spoke to, at least two buses passed through the terminal without picking anyone up. A 3400-series Neo and a 5500-series New Flyer were spotted heading west on West Chester Pike at I was arriving on 5595 (4299 block). Both buses were empty, with the Flyer being completely dark. When 4299 block left 69 St at 11:12pm to work his regular run, he had a standing load, which is highly unusual for that particular trip. It also didn't help that there were quite a few WCU students returning to campus from Fall Break, nor that it has been raining heavily for the past hour in Upper Darby.

Here's where things get really ridiculous. The people I had spoken to who were waiting for nearly two hours at 69 St Terminal told me that there were no supervisors sent to the platform to explain what was going on. Shortly after 11:00pm, I may have stumbled onto a reason why...

Parked on Garrett Rd near Market St was a SEPTA supervisor's van - SUB8454 - with lights on, engine running, and wipers working. The supervisor in question, who is not the nicest person to deal with in the world (an automatic qualification to become a "rotating resume at 1234 Market") was asleep. Yes, you read that right, he was asleep, while nearly 60 passengers were waiting for a 104 bus that never showed up - not to mention the dozens of soaked passengers waiting along West Chester Pike between West Chester and Upper Darby, many of whom have to race to the El to try and catch that last train to being with thanks to the laziness of the regular operator of 4241 block. When I asked him about the 104 problems, I was basically told off in terms not fit for a family web site. I guess I shouldn't have woke him up from his nap, but taking a nap while on the taxpayer's dime is generally a good way to get yourself fired ... especially when you get caught.


According to a very reliable source, the message boards at Market East crashed around 7:00pm Monday night. Despite attempts by riders to find out what was going on, both staff at Market East and SEPTA's Ministry of Mis-information stonewalled passengers whose only apparent crime was wondering what the hell was going on with a relatively new message board system, which had been installed less than three years ago.

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