SEPTA loves lovers

Just like last year, SEPTA is sponsoring its SEPTA Love Stories contest again just in time for St. Valentine’s Day.  Did you meet your sweetie on SEPTA?  Let SEPTA know!

The couples with the most “moving” stories will win an invitation to”El”-evate their love to a whole new level by riding the “Love Train” on Sunday, February 12. The “Love Train”, a specially decorated Market-Frankford Line train, will take the winning couples on a romantic ride with a perfect view of the Mural Arts Program’s “Love Letters” followed by a Champaign reception in downtown Philadelphia. 

Jamere and Marcia won the contest last year.  From their story:

In 2002, Jamere & I (Marcia) would see each other everyday on the 56 bus and would get off at the same stop (Broad & Erie) to catch the XH bus. One day in October 2002, Jamere approach me and started a conversation. He then gave me his telephone number. That night Jamere and I stayed on the phone until the early mornings knowing that we both had to work the next day. Everyday I leave work exactly at 3:30pm just to see him on that 56 & XH bus. We have never left each others side since. Now 2011, Jamere & I have two children (a boy & a girl). On September 10, 2010 we got married at the justice of peace and are trying to plan a reception this September 10, 2011 to celebrate our first year of marriage with family and friends.

You can read the entries that have already been posted–there are 16 as of this writing–and vote for your favorites here.

(image credit.)

Three Cheers: Here Come the Silverliner Vs!

This Friday at 9:30am, SEPTA will hold a press conference at Track 0 in Suburban Station to announce the first Silverliner Vs in passenger service.

While there are some concerns about quality control on the assembly of the new railcars, SEPTA seems dedicated to getting the first of these cars into service as soon as possible.

Now that the Vs will be entering service, that means it’s time to start retiring the Silverliner II and III cars. SEPTA is taking bids for the old cars until 2pm on Friday.

Reader-Submitted Three Cheers: Service to PPL Park

Brian DeHaven sent this in to the mailbag:

SEPTA and the Philadelphia Union have been doing a really good job getting people to the games, especially on the limited R2 schedule. The team provides free shuttle buses to and from the stadium, and SEPTA has added Wilmington trains after games, and also will keep the train at Chester TC until everyone in line back at PPL park has been taken over.

Impressive that they hold the train for the shuttle bus. You can read more about Brian’s day “soaked in beer, sweat and victory” at Philly Redbricker.

Three Cheers: Yee-Haw! 2010 SEPTA Rail Rodeo Open to the Public

Some fun news coming out of 1234 Market this week: This year’s SEPTA Rail Rodeo at the Fern Rock shops on Saturday, September 25 will be open to the public… sort of. More on the sort of in a moment. 

See equipment displays, take a ride on the BSL work train, tour the maintenance shop, and watch SETPA engineers and mechanics compete for a spot in the International American Public Transit Association Rail Rodeo 2011. Plus all sorts of family-friendly fun like food, music, and games.

Now, here’s the catch. Since space is limited, it’s not ENTIRELY open to the public. You need to enter a lottery drawing to get access for you and a guest. You can do that at SEPTA’s website. Winners will be drawn on August 13. It should be a good time!

Three Cheers: The Airport Line Turns 25

Hot on the heels of the Commuter Tunnel, another SEPTA landmark turns 25 today, and SEPTA will be celebrating with free cake.

The R1 Airport line turns 25 today, having opened in 1985. Originally proposed in 1965 and approved in 1970, you could consider it a wonder that the line was built at all, since the proposal lived through Penn-Central, Conrail, and the inception of SEPTA.

A fun side-fact that might win you a Quizzo game some night (not likely): The R1 Airport line is the only line on the PRR side of the system that was originally owned by the Reading Company.

The celebration begins at 3 p.m. at Terminal E-F, with speeches from Mayor Nutter, SEPTA GM Joe Casey, and and airport CEO Mark Gale.

And, most important, there will be free cake.

Three Cheers: The Clocker Returns

On October 28, 2005, the long-running Clocker train – NJT-operated direct commuter service from Philadelphia to NYC – had its last run. Since then, the only way to get between the two cities by rail has been to do the Trenton Shuffle or pay Amtrak prices.

However, thanks to a new joint venture announced today between SEPTA and NJ Transit, the Clocker will be returning this summer.

Early reports indicate that the service will operate with up to four eastbound AM trains and four westbound PM trains. There is also a possibility for one to two off-peak trains in each direction. Service will begin on Monday, August 2.

Round trip, non-reserved fare will cost $35. The current round trip fare using SEPTA and NJT services is $41.

There aren’t any indications yet as to whether SEPTA’s new Silverliner V coaches or NJ Transit’s Multilevel coaches will be used for the service, or as to whether this isn’t all just one big esoteric April Fool’s article from SEPTA Watch.

Three Cheers: The BusView Beta is Here

Do you ride the 33 or 109 bus? Then there’s great news! In what is probably one of the most significant information enhancements the system has seen since the Alvinator, SEPTA’s new BusView system has entered beta testing on those two routes.

The system displays all the buses currently operating along the chosen route, and updates their position every 3 minutes.

I tested it out on my iPhone 3G, and it did work, although performance there was a bit sluggish. Keep in mind that this is just a beta.

Hop on over to the BusView page and give it a try for yourself.

Three Cheers: TTC Looks to SEPTA for Customer Service Guidance

No, seriously, stop laughing at that headline. Apparently there are some major issues with TTC in Toronto, and the board is looking to SEPTA’s customer service initiatives over the past few years for guidance.

Of particular note are the comments of one blogger:

Colin Weir, who runs the transit blog praised many of Philadelphia’s changes, particularly the introduction of an online route planner similar to the one unveiled by the TTC last week. He also lauded Philadelphia’s enthusiastic use of Twitter to give customers service updates.

But he said Philadelphia still needs a lot of work.

“They really need to work on the cleanliness of the system. [That’s] what I would say my biggest gripe with them is.”

Check out the full story, plus the video. Worth noting is that the video leaves out my positive comments and leaves only my cleanliness comment.