There was too much SEPTA news this week to fit into a couple of blog postings. So it’s Friday, so let’s leave you with these:
Well, if you really are curious where your bus is, you might want to check out this SEPTA bus locator website. It is the newest website addressing real time bus information. Sounds like there might be an app in the making. And maybe the trolleys can be added as well? The big question – when will we have one app or website that has accurate real time info for buses, trolleys, trains, and subway?
(image credit: www.dreamstime.com)
Earlier this week, SEPTA announced a new way to check the “system status.” The idea is that in one place, you can find out the delays, detours, alerts, and advisories for each line. Great idea, right?
But the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. The display looks like a circa-1990 website. Sure, it gives the information you’re looking for but the presentation? Meh.
In fact, it kind of reminds me of something from Faye Moore era: it works, but it’s not all that exciting. Which is odd, given the great advancements that SEPTA has made recently with technology and the rider experience.
Did you know that SEPTA publishes new paper schedules every four months? Of course you did.
In this new electronic era, should SEPTA continue to do so? Here’s what SEPTA’s thinking:
Finding ways to streamline our use of resources is part of SEPTA’s comprehensive Sustainability program. One area that we’ve studied is timetable production and the amount of paper, ink, and fuel required to make a complete schedule change 3 times a year.
What we realized was that we were expending resources to reprint schedules when the only thing that was changing was the date on the cover, so beginning with the February 2012 Transit Schedule change we will only print new timetables for those routes with service, stop, or time adjustments. For all of the other routes, your paper schedules from the fall change will remain in effect.
For every schedule change, we post electronic versions of the new timetables on the SEPTA website, in advance of the effective date, we post a center box ad on the website home page to promote the changes, we use Social Media – Twitter and Facebook – to let people know about upcoming changes, and a release is sent out to local media outlets. We also create leaflets to distribute to customers and posters for vehicles, stations, and customer service locations. Even with these efforts we still get questions, and sometimes complaints, the customers did not know schedules were changing.
Want to weigh in on SEPTA’s proposal to cut back on paper schedules? Take their survey here.
It’s not posted on SEPTA’s website as of this writing, but PlanPhilly’s SEPTA guru Anthony Campisi reports that SEPTA’s proposed Fiscal Year 2013 capital budget has very few bells and whistles. $59 million to buy new buses, $53 million for “vehicle overhauls”, an “early action” phase of the City Hall station project, and relocating the 15 trolley to permit the reconstruction of a part of I-95.
But, of course, there is the proposal to revamp the fare system that SEPTA’s been working on for awhile now.
Check out Campisi’s story for more details.
According to Campisi, “SEPTA is accepting written comments for its program until close of business on Feb. 10. Comments can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
(image credit: flickr user cgosnell90)
Can you imagine anyone saying this about SEPTA five years ago?
“SEPTA’s data is in great shape, and they’ve been doing amazing work releasing real-time information — like train and bus location and delay info — through clean, usable APIs,” he said. “They’re ahead of many other transit agencies in this department, which is incredibly refreshing.”