Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Today's Ink-waster reports that the blue-ribbon commission established by Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D-Pa./Comcast SportsNet) is slated to release a preliminary report on the future of funding SEPTA and other systems across the Commonwealth. One comment that caught our attention was as follows:

Part of the commission's work has been to audit the efficiency of SEPTA and other state transit agencies. That report is not yet available, but SEPTA's efficiency "stacked up quite well among transit organizations of similar size," [PennDOT czar Allen] Biehler said.

You're kidding, right? Either this audit was yet another rubber stamp of the status quo at 1234 Market, or mass transit in this country is poorly managed across the board (the article does note that the article should be available on the commission's web site as early as today)...

The preliminary report reveals little of the commission's preferences but does affirm that SEPTA has not been exaggerating budget woes, SEPTA spokesman Richard Maloney said.

"It confirms and validates the scope of the financial crisis that we have been struggling with for years," Maloney said. "For us, that is a great step forward... . It isn't an answer, but it's a good starting point."

A really good starting point would be for the Minister of Mis-Information to get served his walking papers, but that's been a long standing position of this blog for quite some time...

The audit did note SEPTA's "unusually large" 15-member board. It noted that 80 percent of the SEPTA board, but only 20 percent of SEPTA's riders and local funding, come from outside Philadelphia, creating friction between the city and its suburban counties.

Friction between the city and suburbs? Really, you don't say... Even the most veteran of SEPTA observers could've said that the friction has existed.

Once the report is available on the state's web site, I'll review it and offer more comments...

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