Local programmer writes application to tell you how late your train is


Will Entriken sent me an intriguing application he wrote that seems to chart how late regional rail trains are.  

From what I can tell, he’s pulled off the actual arrival times for each train at each station.  The application can then tell you, for example, how many minutes late the average R5 is to Haverford station (along with the average lateness for each train at each station.)
It seems pretty clever.  But I can’t vouch for its accuracy.

Riders challenge SEPTA’s gender police

It’s outmoded, inefficient, expensive, and discriminatory, but SEPTA continues to require that your Transpass either says M or F.  (I’ve written about this before almost two years ago.)  
But now a Facebook page is organizing riders to get SEPTA to drop this policy.  From their site:
We are a group of SEPTA riders who oppose the use of gender (M/F) stickers on transpasses and trailpasses for the following reasons:
-The use of gender stickers discriminates against transgendered individuals. 
-Using gender stickers to prevent pass sharing is ineffective. 
-If the government is going to institute a discriminatory policy to solve an economic problem, then the burden is on SEPTA to prove such a problem actually exists and exists to such a scale to justify the problematic solution
-There is an economic cost associated with using gender stickers. SEPTA is currently spending money to defend the policy due to a complaint filed with the Human Rights Commission
They’re encouraging folks to come out to the Citizens Advisory Committee meeting on June 30. 
(image credit.)

Delaware County organizes for better transit


The Delaware County Greens held a meeting two weeks ago to discuss pressing transportation issues in their area.  Among their concerns, according to Bob Small, one of the attendees, were several SEPTA-related issues, including:

–No direct transport from Chester to Western suburbs; must go to 69th Street and then double back out
–The buses on Route 252 and other major routes are too infrequent for regular use.
–There is only one bus from DCCC after 6pm and it goes to 69th St.
–No safe lock up for bikes at many train stations
–Not driving limits access to critical services; walking unsafe with no provisions for pedestrians
–Unsafe crossings at intersections for pedestrians; too many steps at some transit stops
I received this notice shortly after I read the story in the Inquirer about which SEPTA regional rail stations were getting improvements.  According to the story, stations are more likely to receive infrastructure investment if they have strong community supporters.
Stations are more likely to get SEPTA’s attention if they have lots of riders and politically active supporters. Or if the work will reduce stopping times and improve accessibility. Or if other work on the same line makes it convenient.
“Mount Airy is a pretty activist community. We’re pretty good at advocating for ourselves,” [Laura] Siena [executive director of West Mount Airy Neighbors] said. “You have to get in front of your elected leaders, council people, state people.
“You need to demonstrate you care about the station yourselves and that you’re willing to help maintain the station yourselves.”
So if you live in Delaware County and want to get involved, contact Bob Small at bobthepoet@yahoo.com.  Or come to their next meeting this Wed, June 3 2009, 7:30 PM at Swarthmore Borough Hall.
(image credit.)