This month's "rubber-stamp" session of the SEPTA Board began at 3:09pm and featured a noteworthy absence: Don Pasquale himself (our guess is that the chairman was too busy planning his next fishing trip with Al Mezzaroba). Hence, today's meeting was chaired by Vice Chairman James Schwartzman. Amazingly enough, there were a few minor but almost humorous flubs by Schwartzman during the meeting, including forgetting to call the question (for a vote) on accepting the monthly financial reports and almost skipping over the public comment on agenda items portion prior to voting on the consent calendar. One would think that six years as vice chairman would've prepared him a little better, but then again what do I know...
The meeting was highlighted by several comments on the Annual Service Plan that was to have been fully approved at today's meeting. However, Al Achtert of Upper Darby criticized how the new routing for the 118 in the Garden City district of Nether Providence Township (aka Darby with Trees) came about via the experimental order process. It was noted that the hearing examiner had recommended the 118 be routed via Media Pkwy and Moore Rd, however the current routing via Chestnut Pkwy, Waterville Rd and Brookhaven Rd.
Lorraine Brill of Northeast Philadelphia spoke in opposition to increasing the minimum boarding standards on the Regional Rail system from 50 boards to 75 boards/alights per day. She noted that the figures in the proposal were based on the 2003 Regional Rail Ridership Census and that any action be delayed until the next ridership survey is complete in 2005.
Don Nigro from DVARP stated his support for the Regional Rail standards, but not for the removal of similar standards for the Red Arrow rail lines (P&W and Media/Sharon Hill trolleys). He also noted that there's no consistent flag stop policy on the Regional Rail system.
The City of Philadelphia submitted written testimony opposing not only the proposed RRD standards, but also any plans to close Regional Rail stations within city limits. This was noted by board member Jettie Newkirk, who was able to get that portion of the service standards tabled until at least the October meeting. The tabling came after some confusion on how the motion would be worded and consultation by the vice chair with Shyster-in-Chief Nick Staffieri and Fearless Leader.
The rest of the consent calendar was approved, including the balance of the Annual Service Plan approving routing changes to several routes in the Chester City area, the restructuring of the 314 bus to become a West Chester area circulator, and a re-routing of the 104 via Paoli Pike to serve West Goshen Shopping Center (which is presently served by the 119).
After no reports were given from neither the Shyster-in-Chief or Fearless Leader, the meeting adjourned at 3:38pm.