So recently, in the city of my birth on the other side of the Commonwealth, a Pirates game let out at the same time as a Marilyn Manson “concert.” Not unlike when, here in Philly, a 76ers or Fliers game lets out at the same time as a Phillies “game” (at least this year): there are lots and lots of people waiting to ride SEPTA home.
But if you can believe it, it sounds like SEPTA does a much, much better job than our friends in Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh’s Port Authority just can’t afford to run extra trains. From the Post-Gazette:
But he also said the past practice of running extra trains after major events is no longer possible. With the authority facing a $64 million budget deficit and record-breaking service cuts scheduled for September, “it’s not within our financial means,” he said.
SEPTA, fortunately, hasn’t seen the kinds of service cuts that Pittsburgh’s Port Authority has experienced recently. But if the state doesn’t get serious about enacting a real transportation funding bill, it can’t be far off.
For those who may be curious about the small new building along the SEPTA train tracks between the Link Belt and Chalfont stops, the answer is in.
The free-standing building is a restroom for conductors, said Kristin Geiger, a press officer with the transportation agency. She said the prefabricated unit, similar to what might be seen in a state park or at a highway rest stop, was installed after SEPTA added new railroad siding — a short stretch of track used to enable trains on the same line to pass — along Walnut Street in Chalfont.
Look, I’m all for bathrooms for regional rail conductors–even $22,000 ones–but why can’t SEPTA re-open the ones that we have in the City Hall station?
The Atlantic Cities blog (which if you like cities, urban planning, and/or transit, you ought to be reading if you’re not currently doing so) is out with a write-up about how well a location is served by public transit.
The Transit Scores rank the 25 largest cities. We come in fifth behind New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. (Coincidentally, we’re also fifth among large cities in walkability.)
Amid all the hoopla last Thursday about the 48 SEPTA workers who won millions in the lottery (Congratulations, I guess), were two rather big stories:
First, the SEPTA board signed off on a contract with its transit police. The SEPTA police get a small raise. But I’m still shocked that starting SEPTA cops only get $38,000 per year.
Second, SEPTA workers held a rally outside SEPTA HQ in an attempt to call attention to the increasing violence against SEPTA bus drivers.
“We have operators who have been spat on, guns have been pulled on them and, in some cases, and we have operators who are getting shot. A female operator was sexually assaulted,” said John Johnson, Jr., president of Transport Workers Union Local 234. “It’s very common in our world. Unfortunately it doesn’t get the coverage that it should get so we can bring attention to the issue.”
SEPTA’s doesn’t make such a good impression, alas.
“Hello, I’m a tourist,” I joked. The worker didn’t laugh.
He took my pass and punched the month — March. Except the date was April 3. He handed it back with a vague sort-of apology. The rest of the day, I was sure that my guilty conscience was showing as I flashed the mispunched pass at transit employees. …
On the train back downtown afterward, I was feeling tired from my day of mass-transit touring and had to urge myself to stay alert.
Good thing I was paying attention: The automated station announcements were out of sync, lagging one behind where we actually were….
Then the bus drove past me on the street perpendicular to the one I was on. I ran around the corner to chase it down, but the driver waved me away. It was time for his break. Of course.
Only as I was catching my breath did I see the sign for the bus stop and a line of waiting riders. How an out-of-towner is supposed to know to go nearly a block past where the listed stop is, I don’t know.
But there are some great photos in the story online.
We are so glad local artist Ronnie Ribant took the effort to create this paper model commemorating the oh-so-unfortunate accident between a SEPTA bus and Monk’s Cafe.
One question comes to mind - was it a Route 33 bus, as depicted in the paper model (photos from the crash) that was on a severe detour at 2:15 am on a Tuesday? It was probably a Route 2 bus that was actually running on time.
It seems like every summer, SEPTA has been ripping up and replacing trolley lines. And this summer, it’s time for the 34 trolley.
According to westphillylocal.com, SEPTA recently announced that they’ll be replacing the 34 trolley tracks on Baltimore Avenue this summer. Sure, it’s needed infrastructure improvement, but bummer for those (of us) who live near and depend on the 34 trolley.