Monday, August 16, 2004


In case you missed it last week, SEPTA's "Save Transit" coalition/propaganda machine ran this piece in Wednesday's Metro paper:

Baseball, football, hockey, or indoor soccer, whatever sport you enjoy, the Sports Complex at Broad Street and Pattison Avenue, is the place to see it. Getting there is easy and stress free thanks to SEPTA's Broad Street Line. Taking our seat to your seat means traffic jams and parking headaches are game day stresses for others to endure. Risk a $200 ticket for illegal parking in the neighborhood or paying $10 to park in a lot, if you can even find a space? Why go to all the trouble, when for the cost of two tokens - $2.60 -­ SEPTA has Sports Express service ready to take you to Pattison Avenue.

In the last four years, the number of sports fans riding SEPTA has grown significantly. During the 2003 regular season, approximately 10,000 football fans took the Broad Street Line to every Eagles game. This was an 18% increase in ridership over the 2002 season. And last year's playoff game against the Panthers broke all SEPTA records with 13,511 ticket holders riding the Broad Street Line. Those 13,511 fans made up almost 1/5 of all the people attending the game.

How would all these people get to the game without the Broad Street Line? Just think about the traffic and congestion around the sports complex if SEPTA was forced to cut service on the Broad Street Subway in order to close a $62 million budget gap.

Can you imagine it? Neither can SEPTA.

Unfortunately this is the future the region may face without adequate funding for public transit. Dedicated funding provides the resources SEPTA and all transit organizations in Pennsylvania need to keep moving, growing, and serving the community. Please contact your legislators in Harrisburg and tell them why public transit is important to you.

Could someone please remind Fearless Leader and the Rotating Resumes at 1234 Market of the backlash that followed the last attempt by management tried to severely reduce and/or eliminate service on several key lines? I believe the term to describe the reaction is "backlash."

While it's doubtful that service on the Broad Street Line would be cut significantly in the event that SEPTA had to close it's $62-70 million (depending on whom you believe) budget gap, the same tactics used last year in threatening to eliminate all or portions of key bus routes such as the C, 27, 31, and 123 along with the complete elimination of the R1 Airport, R2 Warminster, R6 Cynwyd, and R8 Chestnut Hill West lines was met with fierce opposition; so fierce in fact, that at last year's Operating Budget hearings held at the Convention Center, the "morning session" which began at 11:00am didn't officially conclude until well after 5:00pm, the start time of the "evening session."

Could this, in fact, be a hint of SEPTA's tactics should Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Pa./Comcast SportsNet) and the legislature fails to act timely on legislation to provide dedicated funding to SEPTA and other transit systems in the Commonwealth?

Let's hope not, or else last year's hearing processes will seem like a love-fest...

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