We’re #5!


The Atlantic Cities blog (which if you like cities, urban planning, and/or transit, you ought to be reading if you’re not currently doing so) is out with a write-up about how well a location is served by public transit.

The Transit Scores rank the 25 largest cities. We come in fifth behind New York, Boston, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.  (Coincidentally, we’re also fifth among large cities in walkability.)

(image credit: flickr user Sean_Marshall)

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.

Biggish SEPTA news you might not have heard about because you were too busy saying snide thing about the 48 SEPTA employees who won the lottery


Amid all the hoopla last Thursday about the 48 SEPTA workers who won millions in the lottery (Congratulations, I guess), were two rather big stories:

First, the SEPTA board signed off on a contract with its transit police.  The SEPTA police get a small raise.  But I’m still shocked that starting SEPTA cops only get $38,000 per year.

Second, SEPTA workers held a rally outside SEPTA HQ in an attempt to call attention to the increasing violence against SEPTA bus drivers.

“We have operators who have been spat on, guns have been pulled on them and, in some cases, and we have operators who are getting shot. A female operator was sexually assaulted,” said John Johnson, Jr., president of Transport Workers Union Local 234. “It’s very common in our world. Unfortunately it doesn’t get the coverage that it should get so we can bring attention to the issue.”

(image credit: flickr user Alex Bray)

Washington Post travel writer visits, rides SEPTA, puts on a good face

The Washington Post’s travel story over the weekend featured an article about the author’s recent carless trip to Philadelphia.

SEPTA’s doesn’t make such a good impression, alas.

“Hello, I’m a tourist,” I joked. The worker didn’t laugh.

He took my pass and punched the month — March. Except the date was April 3. He handed it back with a vague sort-of apology. The rest of the day, I was sure that my guilty conscience was showing as I flashed the mispunched pass at transit employees. …

On the train back downtown afterward, I was feeling tired from my day of mass-transit touring and had to urge myself to stay alert.

Good thing I was paying attention: The automated station announcements were out of sync, lagging one behind where we actually were….

Then the bus drove past me on the street perpendicular to the one I was on. I ran around the corner to chase it down, but the driver waved me away. It was time for his break. Of course.

Only as I was catching my breath did I see the sign for the bus stop and a line of waiting riders. How an out-of-towner is supposed to know to go nearly a block past where the listed stop is, I don’t know.

But there are some great photos in the story online.

Buy your very own paper replica of the infamous SEPTA crash into Monk’s

Ahhh, one of those unforgettable moments in life.

We are so glad local artist Ronnie Ribant took the effort to create this paper model commemorating the oh-so-unfortunate accident between a SEPTA bus and Monk’s Cafe.

One question comes to mind – was it a Route 33 bus, as depicted in the paper model (photos from the crash) that was on a severe detour at 2:15 am on a Tuesday?  It was probably a Route 2 bus that was actually running on time. 

For only $18?  How can you not buy this?


34 trolley tracks to be ripped up, replaced this summer

It seems like every summer, SEPTA has been ripping up and replacing trolley lines.  And this summer, it’s time for the 34 trolley.

According to westphillylocal.com, SEPTA recently announced that they’ll be replacing the 34 trolley tracks on Baltimore Avenue this summer.  Sure, it’s needed infrastructure improvement, but bummer for those (of us) who live near and depend on the 34 trolley.