Monday, January 31, 2005


And now, we offer a moment when SEPTA can actually pat itself on the back, which has become increasingly rare in recent years...

SEPTA boasted a significant reduction in delays this fall caused by "slippery rail" conditions, which occurs when dead leaves fall onto the tracks and cause delays or trains to reduce speeds or even skip stops. The good news according to a press release issued today:

... [D]espite the abundance of foliage and higher than normal rainfall in the Philadelphia region in 2004, SEPTA accomplished its goal of diminishing service delays attributed to slippery rail from leaves falling onto its tracks.

In 2004 between the months of October and December for six nights a week SEPTA scrubbed, cleaned, washed and rinsed its tracks to remove leaf residue.

The result was a system-wide reduction in the number of trains delayed by slippery rail by more than 930 trains over the previous year.

"Transit systems worldwide spend a considerable amount of time developing strategies to overcome this problem," said Patrick Nowakowski, General Manager for Operations at SEPTA. "We're not any different than the rest of them. We've tried a number tactics over the years and through trial and error seem to be making progress."

Slippery rail conditions occur in the fall when leaves are crushed against the rails by passing trains. The crushed leaves create a slick coating on the rails particularly when moistened by dew or light rain. This leads to reduced friction between the rail and train wheels, with less friction it takes longer distances to brake and accelerate trains, thus causing delays in travel time.

Dead leaves stalled a total of 657 SEPTA trains last year. By comparison, the number of trains held up by slippery rail conditions in 2003 was 1,589. And in 2002, a whopping total of 2,352 trains were delayed by the occurrence.

While all SEPTA regional rail Routes experienced fewer slippery rail train delays in 2004, some of the biggest improvements were noted on Routes R3 West Trenton, R5 Paoli, and R6 Norristown. R5 train delays were reduced from 409 in 2003 to a total of just 168 in 2004. The R6 line experienced 91 fewer train delays from slippery rail conditions, while on the R3 line delays were reduced by a total of 85 trains compared to the previous year.

SEPTA also reduced the duration of delays attributed to slippery rail. For example, in 2004 the number of trains delayed between six and 10 minutes totaled less than 500, while almost 800 trains were delayed between six and 10 minutes in 2003. The duration of delays was reduced in every category SEPTA recorded data for in 2004.

Much of the performance of SEPTA's track-cleansing program and success can be credited to the railroad workers who built SPAX 2104, a flat car specially equipped with a high-pressure washer system.

SPAX 2104 is a beefed up version of two locomotives SEPTA began using for the first time in 2003 with great success. The two previous models worked well by discharging water at 5,000 pounds per square inch but SPAX 2104 blasted away leaves and debris by unloading water onto the tracks at 10,000 pounds per square inch.

"Recently we've relied heavily on the high-pressure washer vehicles and they've had a positive effect," said Nowakowski. "We're pleased with the progress we've made over the last two years during this historically difficult season. Our efforts have been beneficial to our riders."

In addition to the trio of high-pressure rail washing vehicles operated overnight on Regional Rail Lines and the Norristown High Speed, SEPTA reinforced its efforts by operating a vehicle outfitted with rotating brushes along the rails to scrub away any remaining leaves and oily deposits.

Friday, January 28, 2005


File this under "So Much For Those New Year's Resolutions"...

Today's Philadelphia Daily News (a fully-paid subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee) reports that the Philadelphia Police supervisor in charge of traffic control at the Sports Complex following last week's Iggles game all but called SEPTA liars following the post-game fiasco involving overcrowded access to the Pattison subway station:

SEPTA Assistant Operations Manager Pat Nowakowski told the Daily News that police, fearing traffic gridlock if thousands of departing fans walked across Pattison Avenue, closed the two north-of-Pattison-station entrances, forcing 17,000 fans to use the south-of-Pattison turnstiles.

The result was a human cattle drive that inched along, cheek-to- jowl, in the windswept arctic cold.

“I’m not looking to rip SEPTA,” said police Capt. Thomas Helker, who directed post-game traffic operations. “I just want to set the record straight. We did not close any entrances to any SEPTA stations. During the entire season, we have never closed any entrances to SEPTA stations after an Eagles game. Never.”

While I can't attest to that fact for Iggles games, the north head-houses are usually closed after Phillies games. The south head-houses are always open to allow for wheelchair access.

Yesterday, SEPTA stuck to its version of what caused the mess.

Apparently, Minister of Mis-Information Richard Maloney was unavailable to lie, leaving Nowakowski to do the lying for SEPTA.

Once they squeezed through the turnstiles and into mobbed Pattison station, fans saw “Eagles Express” trains stop halfway down the platform, fill up and leave them stranded.

Rider Rick Goldstein writes: “Best line after the game while each side of the tracks was six deep waiting for trains that came every 10-15 minutes: ‘One Team, One Dream, One Train.’”

For some inexpicable reason, SEPTA appears to have not stored trains on the lower level of Pattison as they have been over the course of this past season. In fairness, we don't know exactly how many Broad Street Line operators were able to make it into work last weekend, but still one would think that someone would know what the hell was going on...

SEPTA says it expected the usual 10,000 Eagles fans to take the train, not the 17,000 who showed up to avoid snowstorm-afflicted roads.

“SEPTA’s left-hand doesn’t know what the right-hand is doing,” wrote Steve Lapin of Melrose Park. “They knew how many people took the subway DOWN to the game. Did they not think that those same people will take the train BACK after the game?”

Of course not, Mr. Lapin. Ask anyone who has had to return from a Phillies game at "Da Bank" if the white-shirts at Pattison have a clue, and the answer would likely be "no."

But, wait, it gets better...

“Unfortunately, the mess was not limited to the subway,” wrote season-ticket holder Cynthia Gargano. “I waited with friends and family at Suburban Station for two hours for the R6. My parents waited for the R2, which finally arrived a little past 9, three hours since the last R2.

“An announcement was made that there were 45-50-minute train delays. We asked SEPTA employees what the situation with the R6 was, and no one could tell us. We called [SEPTA] customer service, but it was closed.

That didn't sound like 45-to-50 minute delays to me.

“We finally overheard a conversation with a SEPTA conductor that the R6 had been shut down due to snow in the tracks. I was very upset that SEPTA told no one about this and left us stranded. [It] is not only bad service but it is disrespectful to your customers. What happened on Sunday is inexcusable.”

Unfortunately, Ms. Gargano, what happened on Sunday is almost par for the course when it comes to Sports Express service, though service reportedly had been improving over the course of the Iggles season. As far as the Regional Rail side goes, having to search out a conductor to find out what's going on is about the only way people can figure out what the hell is going on...

By the way, wasn't Customer Dis-Services supposed to be open for extended hours during a snow emergency? Or was that yet another SEPTA lie to cover it's collective backsides?

“The return trip was a disaster,” wrote Richard Hammond. “The Eagles Express was slowed down by frozen switches and other Express trains in front of us. We were stuck between Olney and Fern Rock for 20 minutes.

“We got off the subway and walked over to the R5, which only runs every hour. There were about 100 people who were waiting on the freezing platform [for] 45 minutes. After waiting another 30 minutes, no train came. Finally, an announcement was made that an R5 was leaving Center City and would arrive in approximately 30 minutes.

“Many of us went in search of taxis and alternatives. So on a great day when SEPTA could have convinced a few suburbanites to use it more often, we were turned off by the service and SEPTA missed the opportunity to convert potential riders.”
Daily News

Well, stop me if you've heard that one before...

It can't be that surprising that SEPTA's communication to its riders - or lack thereof - essentially scared a lot of potential future riders away. The lack of communication from SEPTA has been a long standing problem even on a clear day during a typical mid-day. How can SEPTA be expected to successfully communicate problems with its passengers during severe conditions when it can't do so under normal conditions?

And you wonder why some suburban and upstate pols are hesistant to fund SEPTA...

Thursday, January 27, 2005


Contract negotiations between SEPTA and TWU 234 are starting, with TWU president Jeff Brooks and Fearless Leader exchanging proposals in Center City yesterday. With SEPTA's ongoing financial crisis, it appears that riders could be looking at the ugliest negotiations since the 1998 labor talks, which resulted in a crippling 40-day strike by City and Frontier workers.

Prior to his sit-down with Fearless Leader, Brooks offered several gripes about SEPTA's management abilities to Dan Geringer of the Philadelphia Daily News (a fully-paid subsidiary of the Democratic National Committee):

“These streets were filled with flourishing businesses,” Brooks said yesterday, looking at the shuttered storefronts and the survivors struggling to make ends meet. “What has happened here is a disaster. This is ridiculous.

“This is SEPTA’s inability to serve the people they’re supposed to serve in this neighborhood,” Brooks said. “Is that based on the racial makeup of this neighborhood or SEPTA’s basic inability to get things done? Do SEPTA project engineers have a time frame for getting this finished, or is it infinite?

“If this was the Northeast, this wouldn’t have happened. The Frankford end of the El was rebuilt in no time compared to this. So why is this happening here?”

Brooks then stood in front of Pyong Kim’s Twin Discount variety store to conduct a press conference about the opening of contract talks with SEPTA.

Kim said he’s had his store on 60th and Market since 1976. Business was fine, he said, until SEPTA’s Market El reconstruction began and killed 75 percent of Kim’s sales.

His wife, who worked in the store, now travels downtown and baby-sits to help make ends meet.

“We are tired of SEPTA pitting the community against us at contract time,” Brooks said, adding that SEPTA management traditionally blames its financial woes on transit workers’ salaries and health benefits.

“We want the public to know that we \[transit workers\] live in these communities. Our mothers and our children stand in the snow waiting for the bus just like the rest of the riding public. We use the same schools, go to the same churches. We are the community, too.”

Brooks said that “united with the riding public,” the TWU would fight for SEPTA reforms such as scheduling enough buses to end overcrowding, safely lit and sheltered bus stands with posted route schedules and emergency call boxes that work, and monitored video cameras on all train platforms.
Daily News


Other than a major change in the delivery date of the 5900-series New Flyers, very little happened at today's "rubber-stamp" session of the SEPTA Board of Directors. The meeting, as is per custom, started 10 minutes late (or 5 minutes early using SEPTA standards). Other than the obigitory reports (or lack thereof) and consent calendar approval, the only noteworthy item was Tom Cooper's comments on the Rendell/Gerlach task force's failure to hold public meetings regarding the future of the $chuylkill Valley rail corridor, which were duly noted by Don Pasquale (who indicated that the project is pretty much out of SEPTA's hands). Other than that, with no reports from either SEPTA's Shyster-in-Chief or from Fearless Leader, the meeting adjourned at 3:17pm. Absent from today's meeting were Chester County representative James Rohn and gubernatorial appointee Denise Smyler; State Sen. Stuart Greenleaf (R-12th), Chester County rep Karen Martynick, and Frank McCartney participated by phone.

The only noteworthy items on the agenda were:

An agreement with PennDOT over the reconstruction of the Lindbergh Blvd bridge in Southwest Philadelphia, which would also replace trackage between 54-Lindbergh and 49-Woodland this summer, resulting in a bus-bridge between Woodland Shop and Penrose Plaza (which should be interesting to see how it will be handled, considering there probably won't be any Neoplans left by that time). The project would bus-titute the 36 between June 19 and September 3. As part of the agreement, PennDOT will reimburse SEPTA a net total in the amount of $215,369.18, which would be applied to the track replacement project.
Several changes to the delivery contract with New Flyer, regarding the 5900-series buses due for delivery in FY 2006. For starters, the 5900s will now sport a Cummins ISL-05 (nee L-10) engine instead of the now discontinued DDC Series 50 engine. Additionally, the 5900s, which were scheduled for delivery starting April 1, 2006 through the end of 2006, will now be delivered starting on August 1, 2005. This will effectively mean the end of the Neoplans as we know it by the end of winter.


The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission's Board of Commissioners voted to transfer nearly $10 million in funding for highway projects to SEPTA, thus reducing the defecit from $62 million to nearly $49 million. Among the projects that would be delayed or impacted by reduced funding, according to the Inquirer:

Reconstruction of the Norristown Rd interchange on the PA 309 freeway in Montgomery County ($4.9 million),
Reconstruction of the Callowhill Rd bridge in Bucks County ($1 million),
Reconstruction of New Rodgers Rd in Bristol Twp ($2.4 million), and
Reconstruction of Oxford Valley Rd in Middletown (Bucks) ($1.4 million)

Do you think it's any coincidence that most of the projects being cut are in Bucks County, which just so happens to be Don Pasquale's home turf?

Monday, January 24, 2005


And now, the latest in a series of insensitive moves by SEPTA, which I'm sure Fearless Leader and the Rotating Resumes at 1234 Market don't exactly want legislators in Harrisburg to catch wind of...

According to the Lansdale-Doylestown Intelligencer, residents in neighborhoods and developments in both Doylestown Boro and Township have been jolted from their sleep by train horns as part of overnight yard movements that weren't exactly what they wanted to deal with.

"It's a terrific annoyance," said Joe Mettalia, one of several people living near the station who have complained about the noise. "There's no rhyme or reason to it."

Mr. Mettalia's statement (highlighted in bold) is a candidate for "Oxy-moron of the Year" though the term "Competent management" when referring to 1234 Market may edge that statement out in the end...

Mettalia and his neighbors want the noise between midnight and 3 a.m. to stop and have been frustrated that their pleas for an end to the problem weren't answered.

But on Thursday, the agency that operates the trains and the station apologized and said it would make immediate changes to ensure the horns would no longer be a problem.

"We heard from the community up there, and we're going to stop it immediately," said Richard Maloney, a Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority spokesman. "We notified (local government officials) that we understand it was disruptive. We apologize for it."

Here's a concept that the Minister of Mis-Information may want to pass along to the Rotating Resumes. How about notifying officials BEFORE deciding to disrupt a neighborhood?

The apology came on a day when state Senator Joe Conti voiced his frustration that SEPTA officials were "spectacularly unresponsive" to phone calls he made in an attempt to correct the problem.

"You would think that with the funding needs of SEPTA, they would be more responsive," the Bucks County Republican said.

Of course not, Senator. Just ask the folks in Bristol Township...

It's not the first time the Doylestown train station has been the target of complaints about noise after midnight, Conti said.

"I characterize it as 'Groundhog Day,' " Conti said. "This is probably my third go-round with this issue. It happened about 20 years ago when then Congressman Peter Kostmayer was able to make a difference. Eight to 10 years ago, it happened again, and Congressman Jim Greenwood (helped resolve the problem)."

And, we'll probably be back 10 years from now discussing this issue again...

It was about two weeks ago when residents began hearing noise they weren't used to between midnight and 3 a.m. Although they've become accustomed to and accepting of train activity during rail service hours, the early-morning horns are hardly common.

"I've been woken up at 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 ...," said Mettalia, who lives in the Doylestown Hunt development in Doylestown Township. "Sometimes it's every couple of hours."

That seems to be the only consistent schedule that SEPTA has been able to maintain on the Doylestown branch (and this is before the blizzard that we're referring to).

Maloney, the SEPTA spokesman, said the noise resulted from a change in the way the agency stored trains at the station. For the past few weeks, SEPTA stored train cars overnight farther down the track than it normally does, closer to Doylestown Hunt.

"It's a relatively new procedure," he said. "We didn't realize it was disturbing the residents."

File this one under "dog bites man."

John Davis, Doylestown Borough's manager, said it was his understanding that an increase in the number of people boarding trains in Doylestown prompted SEPTA to add one or more cars at the station. Because there are more train cars and limited space to store them overnight at the station, some cars are stored farther down the tracks.

Bucks County Commissioner Charley Martin, who represents his county on SEPTA's board of directors, said he was unaware of the problem until a reporter told him about it Thursday. He said he had sympathy for the neighbors.

"If it doesn't get resolved, I'm sure I'll hear about it," Martin said. "Hopefully, it will be resolved fairly easily." Lansdale/Doylestown Intelligencer

We're assuming that Martin will be able to hear over the noise of the train horns...


KYW NewsRadio reported that SEPTA set a one-day ridership record for the Broad Street Line, carrying nearly 17,000 Iggles fans to the Linc for yesterday's beatdown of that team from Atlanta. Things didn't quite go as well for the return trip...

SEPTA's Minister of Mis-Information Richard Maloney claims that Philadelphia Police ordered SEPTA to close the two headhouses on the northeast corner of Broad and Pattison.

“There are four entrances [to the subway] at the sports complex, we call them headhouses. Philadelphia Police, in an attempt to keep vehicular traffic going on Pattison Avenue, prohibited SEPTA from opening the two northern headhouses."

But that decision forced hundreds of fans to jam into the southern entrances that were open. And, Maloney says, two other factors made the situation worse:

“We had a record number of people ride –- 17,000 people, that’s a record breaker there. And everyone stayed to the very end of that game, and they all tried to leave at once.”

Some fans tired of waiting to get into the station and instead walked north to the Broad and Oregon station, only to see the express trains pass them by.

And, while doing so, they passed by the very same headhouses that the city ordered closed.

Maloney says they'll have to figure out what to do when police close off some subway entrances:

“The pedestrian movement system down there at the sports complex was designed with four entrances, to accommodate the crush of large crowds. And we’re obviously going to have a backup if we’re prohibited from opening two of those four entrances.”

Let's hope that SEPTA actually had the escalators running in the proper direction this time. The last time I went through Pattison after a sporting event, the escalator was heading up towards the station exit instead of down towards the trains...

Maybe in the future, either SEPTA or NJ Transit could consider a regional park-and-ride bus network to serve the sports complex for Iggles, Phillies, Sixers games and other special events. I'm sure NJT would be open to such an idea more so than SEPTA...


Da Iggles are going to the Super Bowl!!!

It wasn't really that big of a deal, except for the fact that da Iggles had lost the last three NFC title games (including the last two at home, which was quite embarassing to say the least; the 2002 loss to St. Louis wasn't as painful because nobody really expected da Iggles to be there).

Before we all start dreaming about a parade down Broad St in two weeks, let's remember one thing...

As great as this win is for the city, remember that DA IGGLES HAVEN'T WON A DAMN THING YET!

Philadelphians talk about the NFC Championship game win as if we had already won the Super Bowl. Hate to ruin everyone's fun, but until the clock strikes 0:00 at the end of regulation in Jacksonville two weeks from yesterday and da Iggles have more points on the scoreboard than the Olde England Patriots, the curse that has befallen this city - from mediocre to lowsy sports teams to its ethically questionable government to its near suffocating tax burden - won't be lifted.

As many Iggles fans have been noting in recent weeks and months, and even some Iggles players themselves, failing to win the Super Bowl will constitute a failure for this team. And, as painful as it is to say, the Olde England Patriots are going to give da Iggles a lot of fits on February 6.

I guess the moral of what I'm trying to say is this: Iggles Nation should enjoy this win until next Monday, when the Super Bowl hype is expected to go into overload levels. Then, hope that Bill Belichek has a major brain cramp come February 6.

For all the talk about Andy Reid often being outcoached in humiliating losses (see the 2003 and 2004 NFC title games), there'd be no shame in being outcoached by Belichek, who quite frankly, could probably outcoach Vince Lombardi. That said, wasn't it great to see the Big Guy actually show some emotion yesterday for the first time since he's been in Philadelphia?

We now return to our regularly schedule SEPTA blog already in progress...


Not that some of these items haven't been posted in the guestbook, but some of the effects of the blizzard around the region included:

  • Numerous SEPTA routes were on minor detours, though the SEPTA web site never bothered to say where exactly most of these detours were taking place, which I'm sure led some people to guess where the buses were being diverted.
  • Naturally, the 35 was suspended through Manayunk and Roxborough, while the 27 was diverted off of Henry Av and onto Ridge Av. At the height of the storm, there was no bus service on Ridge north of Wissahickon Loop, affecting the 9, 27 and 65. The 65 was cut back to Wissahickon.
  • The 105 didn't operate through Overbrook Park; there was no word on the 106, but one would have to guess that was impacted as well (although it operates along Haverford Av as opposed to the Overbrook Park neighborhood itself).
  • There was no service on the 22, 55, and 58 into their respective portions of Bucks County due to road conditions; nor was there service on the 88 into Lower Moreland. The 22 and 55 apparently were not mentioned by SEPTA during it's reports to various stations.
  • Regional rail service was operating anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes late depending on the time of the day, but as best as we can tell, there was no suspension of service.
  • In South Jersey, all bus service was suspended Saturday afternoon south of I-195, except for 500-series local routes in the Atlantic City area (they weren't as severely affected as the rest of South Jersey). All bus service was suspended state-wide Saturday night as New Jersey declared a state of emergency and non-essential driving ban until 8:00am Sunday morning; additionally, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan was also closed.
  • NJ Transit rail service, including the Northeast Corridor, Atlantic City Rail Line, and the RiverLINE were still operating during the storm, but with delays.
  • LANTA suspended bus service in the Lehigh Valley on Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday.
  • There was no report of service suspension on DART First State service on Saturday (Sunday was unaffected because DART doesn't run on Sundays), however there were reports of localized detours.
  • Krapf's suspended all bus service on its lines after 7:00pm Saturday night and was operating with delays on Sunday.

Monday, January 17, 2005


Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Pa./Comcast SportsNet) announced earlier today that he would not call a special session of the legislature to deal with funding issues for SEPTA and other mass transit agencies.

"He's been encouraged by the fact that legislative leaders realize that mass transit is a crisis that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later," said Penny Lee (Rendell spokesperson - ed.).

Republicans said the time is quickly approaching when the threat of a special session stops working as a stick to encourage action.

"At this point, calling a special session would be nothing but a public relations gambit. Regular session begins on Jan. 24, and even by the governor's timeline we have until late February to act," said Erik Arneson, chief of staff for Senate Majority Leader David J. Brightbill (R., Lebanon). Inquirer


Meanwhile, KYW reported that Rendell realized that a lot of GOP lawmakers would be in Washington for the inauguration of President Bush.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005


From the "it was bound to happen sooner or later" files...

State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo (D-1st/Philadelphia) announced a plan that would increase the state's portion of the Realty Transfer Tax by .5 percent, a move that he claims would raise $200 million for SEPTA and other transit systems across the Commonwealth.

The bill comes closer to fixing chronically inadequate state transit funding than a $110 million motor vehicle fee packaged proposed by Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Phila.) and backed by Gov. Rendell.

But Republicans who control the state House and Senate greeted Fumo's proposal by repeating demands that a statewide fix for transit should also address insufficient state road and bridge aid. The legislature has historically raised gasoline taxes to help the road network in conjunction with new fees aimed at aiding transit agencies.

"We need to look at the overall transportation problem, including roads and bridges," said Sen. Robert Thompson (R-19th/Chester).

Thompson added that he intends to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Fumo bill. The Fumo plan "fixes the transit side," Thompson said. "It is a good idea."

Fine, Senator. Now fix the highway problem. I'm sure your consituents who live in the 19th and have to deal with PA 41 on a daily or semi-regular basis would love to know what youse guys in Harrisburg plan on doing to make sure that dangerous highways such as PA 41 and US 322 in Delaware County (hello, Sen. Pileggi) are fixed sooner rather than later...

Kate Philips, a spokeswoman for Rendell, said the governor's office would review the tax proposal. The governor, however, has ruled out a gasoline tax increase for roads and bridges.

"The door is slammed shut," on a gasoline tax increase, Philips said. "Gas prices are just too volatile right now. The governor wants to keep the focus on transit because that is the crisis we are facing."

Well, in about 6 weeks, that door is going to slam shut right on Rendell's foot if SEPTA follows through with its threats to cut service and increase fares...

Who's giving Rendell advice on this issue, Joe Banner? (Iggles fans know all too well how the Iggles' last two appearances in the NFC title game went, and we all know that Rendell is too busy with his duties at Comcast SportsNet to even deal with anything related to state government issues...)

The statewide real estate transfer tax is 1 percent, matched by an additional tax levy of 1 percent or more by many local municipalities across the state, Fumo spokesman Gary Tuma said. The total real estate transfer tax in Philadelphia is 4 percent, and 3 percent in Pittsburgh.

As a statewide tax to save transit, the real estate transfer tax makes sense because more income would be generated from urban areas where more properties are sold each year, Fumo said.

"It increases with inflation because it grows as the value of real estate grows," he said in a press release yesterday. "We have an opportunity to solve this problem for many years to come."

Now, whether or not Fumo pushes for something in return from SEPTA (read: patonage jobs) remains to be seen. We should point out that one of Fumo's proteges is SEPTA Board member Chris (son of Councilman Frank) DiCicco, who had worked as an aide to Fumo.

Monday, January 10, 2005


The Delaware County Daily Times reported in today's editions that a SEPTA bus was reportedly leaking fuel while in service on the 113 yesterday afternoon. The fuel leak apparently happened somewhere along Pembroke Av in East Lansdowne and was traced over the 113 routing from East Lansdowne through Lansdowne, Yeadon, and Darby Borough.

"There was a pretty substantial stream all the way from East Lansdowne," running along Union Avenue, then along Lansdowne Avenue in Yeadon and past Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby Borough, said Epright.

Darby Fire Co. 1 spent about 45 minutes cleaning the streets with the assistance of Sharon Hill, Collingdale and Yeadon fire companies.

That must have made for a fun commute...

SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said the bus was not involved in an accident and the cause of the spill is under investigation. The Route 113 bus, which runs from 69th Street Terminal to Marcus Hook via Darby and Chester, was towed from the scene to prevent additional spillage.

Hmmm, shoddy maintenance comes to mind.

Oh, happy new year, SEPTA...


Between a revised (read: longer) work schedule and limite access to the internet during the past few weeks, I haven't been as diligent in posting updates to this blog as I used to be. However, once I get adjusted to my new work schedule (which pretty much eliminates any off days - or nights - that I have at this time), I'll be posting more frequently.

I can tell you that GOP leaders in Harrisburg - including State Sen. Robert Thomspon (R-19th of West Goshen) - are meeting with Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Pa./Comcast SportsNet) to discuss a possible solution to the funding crisis for transit agencies across the state (remember that it's not just SEPTA that's in this situation).

Additionally, on the other side of the river, NJ Transit schedules througout South Jersey changed over the weekend. The biggest highlight involves several Philadelphia-bound buses - including the 400, 403, 404, and others - that used to board at Walter Rand Transportation Center on Broadway proper are now being diverted into the Transportation Center itself. This is apparently being done to avoid RiverLINE conflicts on Mickle Blvd.

We'll try to post more details on these items within the next day or two...