Thursday, May 27, 2004


Although work committments prevented me from attending, SEPTA officially dedicated the new terminal building at the Bridge-Pratt El terminal (sorry, I still can't bring myself to say "Frankford Transportation Center"). From the Northeast News Gleaner:

The fifth annual Frankford Arts Festival carried special meaning last weekend as residents, workers, and government officials celebrated Frankford's 150th anniversary as a part of the city.

It also provided a backdrop for the dedication of SEPTA's new Frankford Transportation Center at Bridge Street and Frankford Avenue.

"Finally the lights are on in Frankford," said SEPTA General Manager Faye Moore. "We are no longer standing in the shadows of Philadelphia."

Once described as "the crown jewel of the SEPTA system" by Dr. Irving Smiler, the late president of the Bridge and Pratt Business and Professional Association, the terminal currently serves over 50,000 commuters daily. That is more than the equivalent to sold-out Phillies game.

"It took a while, but it was worth it," said former U.S. Rep. Robert A. Borski Jr. "This terminal used to be like the city's ugly stepchild, and dangerous. Now it has been made beautiful and pretty, bringing nothing but sunshine down on Frankford."

Frankford Group Ministry executive director and Frankford resident Rev. Robin Hynicka, said: "Between 1912 and 1922 when the rapid transit system here was established, it helped connect the Frankford community with the rest of its neighbors."

Holding up a copy of the site plans for the terminal, a document that included over 20 pages of input from Frankford residents, Mr. Hynicka continued: "Everything on this site plan is what was constructed here. But it's not the papers that matter, it's the voice of the people. It's their pride. Residents of Frankford have shown that they care by continuing to force improvements in their community and demand excellence from this terminal's construction.

"The elevated train before us here is an outward sign of our elevated spirits. It shows the city what it means to be 'Frankford Friendly,'" he said.

"This is your project," said Federal Transportation Authority (sic) official Howard Shipman of the $150 million project. "The people of Frankford faced all of the issues successfully, making it truly a job well done. Uncle Sam and the feds are proud to have been a part of this project."

The Project Management Institute used the dedication to honor the project's managers with the Delaware Valley award for their efficiency during the nine-day window in early 2004 when critical El tracks were removed and new ones were prepared for service.

"Considering a Phillies stadium (sized-crowd) comes here every day, officials on this Frankford Transportation Center project are to be commended," said PMI's Gary Sonin, "The project's local information team were able to almost seamlessly shuttle all the commuters to other terminals during the entire nine-day outage. It is amazing."

For once, that's praise that SEPTA actually deserves.

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