BRT coming to Philly

Plans for bus rapid transit (BRT) from New Jersey Transit were approved by the NJT board on Monday.  This is a great development – a transportation best practice that speeds up transit commutes and reduces congestion is always welcome!

A question for SEPTA – when are you going to propose BRT on some of your suburban bus routes or along Route 1?

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Chinatown buses shut down

Your cheap travel options for getting to NYC by bus just got reduced due to a US Dept of Transportation crack down on dangerous operations.

Megabus and Bolt Bus are still operating and will likely up their frequency to deal with an increase in demand. 

Is Greyhound really still an option? 

Obviously, you might decide to travel on SEPTA using the more expensive and longer trip via the Trenton Line with a transfer on NJT. 

It is much safer – and cheaper than Amtrak!

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SEPTA: At least we’re not the Pittsburgh Port Authority… yet.

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.

Until then: Sorry, Pittsburgh.

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2 bus accidents and more

A route 64 bus hit a van in southwest Philadelphia on Monday.  8 people were reported injured in the accident.

A route 3 bus hit an open car door near the intersection of Frankford Ave and Kensington Ave.  Noone was reported to be injured in that accident.

Also – a second Amtrak train killed a person in less than a week, this time it happened on Thursday in Claymont, Delaware causing a delay on the Wilmington/Newark regional rail line.

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Phlash is back (!) with some changes

Per usual, at the beginning of May, the beloved purple Phlash trolley returns to our downtown streets.

This year, Phlash features some changes: consolidated stops, an extension up to Eastern St Penitentiary, and some reduction in service, including just Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during May, September, and October.

But the rumor on the streets (ha!) had it that Phlash was gone for good – so the good news is that as of tomorrow, you will be able to use your SEPTA pass (or Phlash pass) to ride around downtown, up the Parkway, and over to the Centennial District.

Here is the new map.

Center City District reports: Most transit commuters in over a decade!

The Center City District released its 2012 State of Center City report today.

Take a look at the transportation section.

The combined average weekday number of passengers traveling to and from Center City by SEPTA, PATCO, and NJ Transit in 2011 increased to the highest number in over a decade. 

It is a great report with really beautiful graphics!

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Richard Gubish is our hero

Two weeks ago, a car rear-ended a bicyclist in Bethlehem, PA.  And then attempted to speed off without stopping to help the bicyclist.

Unfortunately for the hit-and-run motorist, though, Richard Gubish, Jr, a quick-thinking bus driver with the Lehigh and Northampton Transit Authority (LANTA), was right ahead of the bicyclist and maneuvering his LANTA bus blocking the hit-and-runners’ attempted escape.

Oh, and did we mention that it was all caught on videotape?

As someone who’s been rear-ended by a motorist while on my bicycle and, as a guy who doesn’t hesitate to give bus drivers their due, kudos, Richard.