Our dear friends in New York have some issues to work out

I was up in New York City this weekend.  It was pretty great from a transit perspective.  In 24 hours, I rode the trolley, Amtrak, a taxi, a ferry, the subway, New Jersey Transit, and my brother’s car.  Oh, and I also ran over 13 miles.

On one of my trips on the subway, I spotted these two adverts.  Clearly, someone has some issues they need to work on.

We interrupt this SEPTA blog to bring you important bike news


This is a SEPTA blog.  We know that.  But occasionally, something so exciting comes along that we’ve just got to step aside for a hot minute and let you know about some other things.

If you’ve ever rode your bicycle over the beautiful Benjamin Franklin bridge, you know this feeling.  It’s a great ride with great views and you’re coming down on the Camden side and you see the stadium and then you have to stop.  And get off your bike.  And put it on your shoulder.  And walk down two flights of stairs.  It makes no sense.

The Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition reports last week that after years of advocacy, this may all be changing.

[T]he Delaware River Port Authority Finance Committee voted unanimously to approve the designation of $350,000 to design a ramp for walkers and cyclists on the Camden side of the South Walkway of the Ben Franklin Bridge. This ramp will replace the current treacherous three story stair tower.

Stay tuned for more information.  And now back to your regularly scheduled SEPTA news.

(image credit.)

Who killed the trolleys?

Speaking of trolleys, there’s a really neat video that’s been making the rounds on transit sites lately.  It’s a 1940 video that tells the story of the end of trolleys in Seattle.

The site that the video comes from is well worth the read.  According to public radio station KPLU, buses replaced the trolleys in Seattle for two reasons.

First, a “secret cartel involving General Motors and Standard Oil, among others, was buying up streetcar lines in other American cities, outside the northwest, and converting them to buses.”

Second, Seattle was broke and couldn’t afford the upkeep any more.  Seattle Mayor Alfred Langlie “negotiated a federal bailout loan, which would retire the streetcar system’s debt if the city switched to buses.”

By April of 1941, Seattle had ripped up 230 miles of streetcar lines, melting them into steel for the war effort – and becoming the largest city in the country at that time to have no streetcars. Instead, the city got the electric trolley-bus system we still have today.

And now, seventy years later, we sure do miss those trolleys.

Baby born on PATH train this morning

On the PATH Train

This morning on the PATH train steaming into Manhattan.  I found this very endearing:

The husband said that with guidance from another woman on the train he was able to deliver the baby at just about 10 a.m. Fellow riders offered encouragement, and the couple said one little girl offered her jacket to keep the baby warm.

PATH officials turned the train into an express, bypassing most stops so that it would get to its final stop, 33rd Street in midtown Manhattan, as soon as possible. Emergency services personnel met the train and took the family to the hospital.

Reminds me of Christmas 2007.

 (image credit: flickr user cubby_t_bear)