We’re #5!


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.)

(image credit: flickr user Sean_Marshall)

Biggish SEPTA news you might not have heard about because you were too busy saying snide thing about the 48 SEPTA employees who won the lottery


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.”

(image credit: flickr user Alex Bray)

Ditch car, take transit, save $

Philadelphia ranks 6th in the country for cities where you can save money by getting rid of a car.  This ranking comes from the American Public Transportation Association and assumes that you buy a monthly pass and uses various facts and figures regarding costs of driving and parking from AAA and Colliers International. 

Here are the top 20 cities, ranked in order of how much a 2-person household would save if it got rid of one car.

  City Monthly Yearly
1 New York $1,224 $14,684
2 Boston $1,134 $13,602
3 San Francisco $1,116 $13,393
4 Seattle $1,012 $12,145
5 Chicago $1,006 $12,069
6 Philadelphia $983 $11,795
7 Honolulu $964 $11,573
8 Los Angeles $922 $11,067
9 San Diego $893 $10,717
10 Minneapolis $885 $10,619
11 Portland $877 $10,525
12 Washington, DC $876 $10,514
13 Denver $869 $10,430
14 Baltimore $857 $10,290
15 Cleveland $842 $10,104
16 Miami $813 $9,756
17 Dallas $802 $9,625
18 Atlanta $796 $9,558
19 Pittsburgh $791 $9,491
20 Las Vegas $788 $9,458

My heart skips a beat for you, Reading Viaduct

Man, we’ve been talking about the Reading Viaduct (here, too) since like May 2008.  That was before it was cool, yo.

And now, via uwishunu.com, the surprisingly informative website with the regrettable name, comes some pretty awesome photos of what could really be.

Want more?  The Center City District has an 11-page power point available here (pdf).

Meanwhile, Hidden City Philadelphia reports that the Reading RR Company has started to pull up the old railroad tracks.  So close?


If 219 SEPTA cops strike & no one notices, did it still happen?

As SEPTA’s 219 unionized police officers continue to bargain with SEPTA management, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting that they’re only 35 cents per hour apart.  Time to split it down the middle and call it a contract?

In the meantime, Philly cops, SEPTA police management, and private rent-a-cops are covering.  Where’s the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) on this?  They’re asking their members not to volunteer to do overtime, but permitting them to cover SEPTA police shifts.  As a union man myself, I’m surprised the FOP is crossing the picket line.  Then again, I haven’t seen too many SEPTA cops visibly walking the line.

All in all: a pretty tepid strike over–if the media is to be believed–pretty small potatoes.

Meanwhile, Philly cops nabbed an alleged bad guy on the El tracks near City Hall during Thursday’s evening rush.

What are SEPTA’s busiest bus, trolley, & rail lines?


Ever wondered what the busiest SEPTA routes were?

Now, courtesy of The Philadelphia Business Journal, you can wonder no more.

  1. The El
  2. Broad Street Line
  3. 23
  4. R5 (Paoli/Thorndale RR)
  5. 18
  6. 47
  7. 34 trolley
  8. 13
  9. 52
  10. 11 trolley
  11. Lansdale/Doylestown RR
  12. 36 trolley
  13. 10 trolley
  14. 4/16 (nee C)
  15. 33
  16. G
  17. 17
  18. 60
  19. West Trenton RR
  20. 14
  21. 26
  22. 42
  23. 56
  24. 15 trolley
  25. 57

I’m surprised the 21 isn’t on this list.  And where’s the 100 (aka Norristown High Speed Line)?

Any other surprises you see?

(image credit: flickr user James Cridland)