Thursday, May 27, 2004


At today's "Rubber-stamp" meeting of the SEPTA Board, there was very little controversy. Come to think of it, there was very little of anything at today's 16 minute meeting. Among the highlights of action items voted on today:

  • The Montgomery County para-transit contract which was slated to have been awarded to First Transit was tabled for reasons unknown. The contract is currently held by Krapf's.
  • SEPTA will pay Norfolk Southern $285,000 to conduct a four-month passenger rail service assesment as part of the PennDOT Task Force on $chuylkill Valley.
  • The board approved a change order to Brookville to extend the completion date of the PCC-II contract to November 21. As a result, and as has been previously reported elsewhere, the return of LRT service on the 15/Girard line will see a mix of PCC-II and Kawasaki cars.

While Fearless Leader didn't provide a monthly report, she did respond to DVARP's Don Nigro over comments made by a SEPTA staffer at a conference a couple of months ago. Nigro had raised the possibility of dual-mode locomotives operating through the tunnel as part of $chuylkill Valley and possibly even a restored Lansdale-Quakertown corridor that is being studied by Bucks County. Chris Patton, one of the biggest supporters of the now-rejected "MetroRail" scheme within SEPTA, shot down that idea, citing "terrorism concerns."

When Nigro raised the issue at the meeting today, Fearless Leader responded by stating, "Individuals do not represent SEPTA; the General Manager (and the senior management team) speaks for SEPTA." Take that however you want, but to this observer, it appears that Fearless Leader isn't exactly sold on "MetroRail" as her immediate predecessor, Jack Leary.

With regards to the current status of PennDOT's Task Force on $chuylkill Valley, Fearless Leader indicated that the group has not yet gotten to a point where public comment can be taken at this point, since "there's nothing to comment on." To that extent, that's not unreasonable, considering that the task force doesn't seem to have a firm plan in place yet, and probably won't until after Norfolk Southern completes its review.

For the most part, that was about it.

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