Monday, February 02, 2004


Since this is the first time that I've had a chance to post at length since Friday, this next item doesn't appear to be that late. But, still, Friday morning's return trip home from work was nerve wracking at best...

The 6:20am 133/92 departure from Paoli (2034/6016 block) seemed to be running just fine down Lancaster until the driver sped past King Rd. The lame excuse I was told was that he thought he was working a 206. Whatever, just ignore the fact that you were picking up and discharging passengers between King of Prussia and Paoli. It would've seemed like no big deal, except for what happened after we left Exton Mall to run the 92.

There were several time where I thought we were going to be involved in an accident, including a couple of close calls along the PA 100 spur before the exit for Pottstown Pike. In fact, when we were at the traffic light on Pottstown Pike before turning onto Boot Rd, the bus was far enough out of the turn lane that we were almost struck by passing traffic heading north on Pottstown Pike.

Riding along Boot Rd and Phoenixville Pike wasn't exactly a picnic either. There were several spots when the bus was halfway onto the opposite side of the road. Making things worse was that the operator seemed to be mumbling to himself along the way.

Needless to say, I had to get off the bus several stops before I normally would. Suffice to say a couple calls later and SEPTA was fully aware of what happened. Or so I would hope that would be the case.


The Pottstown Mercury had it's take on the recent sit-down between SEPTA, PennDOT, the Berks Area/Reading Transportation Authority (BARTA) and other legislative big shots regarding the Schuylkill Valley rail project.

"We were making such great progress and then we got kind of stopped on the tracks for a while," said Dennis D. Louwerse, executive director of (BARTA).

Well, begging for well over a billion bucks in federal money will do that to you sometimes.

"We had a (state) budget where transit got cut 6 percent and we were worried about just keeping what we had, and we were all getting kind of frustrated. ... I’m really encouraged by Gov. Rendell’s and Congressman Gerlach’s interest in this project," said Louwerse.

Well, funding for Schuylkill Valley probably wouldn't have been affected since it's a capital funding issues and the funding that Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Pa./Comcast SportsNet) was threating to cut was operating funding. That said, the funding crisis in Harrisburg certainly took most of the "MetroRail" apologists off their game a little bit.

Congressman James Gerlach (R-6th) added his spin to the meeting in the same article.

"I think the meeting went really well ... We have hit the reality phase with this project," (Gerlach) said.

Nah. Ya think?

The article also pointed out DVARP's support for traditional commuter rail as opposed to the "gold-plated" boondoggle that SEPTA and it's parrots (stand up, Peter Quinn) have been advocating from the outset.

Yet, despite the efforts of SEPTA, Quinn, et al, to build a rail line and operate it under a wildly unrealistic operating plan, there appears to be some opposition to any rail service at all in the corridor.

State Sen. John Rafferty, (R-44th), who represents the Montgomery County towns through which the Metro would run from Norristown on into North Coventry in Chester County and into Douglass and Amity in Berks County, said he is not yet entirely convinced the project makes sense at all.

"I have constituents who are for this project and those who are against," said Rafferty, who said he personally leans in favor of it, but is mindful of the concerns of his constituents who are opposed.

Those opposed, primarily in rural areas of Chester County, fear the development a commuter rail line might bring to their townships, Rafferty said.

Those in favor, mostly in the already developed river town areas in Montgomery and Chester, favor the rail line for the same reason their rural neighbors fear it -- the development money it could attract.

So much for that "unified support" along the entire corridor...

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