June 28, 1990 |
The House narrowly defeated a proposal yesterday to allow gasoline taxes to be used for mass transit, but its sponsor held out some slim hope for another vote before the legislature's summer recess. The issue touched off a rural-versus-urban debate in the House, but it was, surprisingly, six Republicans from Philadelphia who withheld a number of votes that might have supplied the margin of victory for the measure sorely needed by SEPTA. The final vote was 113-87 against the resolution, but during the five minutes that the House tote board remained open, the tally changed many times, at one point closing to 100-97.
April 24, 1990 |
OK, environmentalists say: If cars are the transportation problem and mass transit is the solution, why is SEPTA funding always the question? And if SEPTA is, as city officials often say, one of the city's most valuable economic development tools, why is the transit authority perpetually teetering on the brink of a shutdown while city, state and federal officials and SEPTA riders play a high-stakes game of chicken to see who will pay its bills?...
April 21, 2003 |
FACED WITH a $55 million operating deficit for fiscal 2004, SEPTA has unveiled a plan of disaster that includes cuts in service and yet another fare increase. If this plan becomes reality, all residents, businesses and tourists will suffer. Senior citizens, the working poor, students and riders who require regular medical treatment will be hardest hit by such cuts. A post-Sept. 11 economy, coupled with reduced subsidies, created this crisis for the 74 transit systems in Pennsylvania.
June 27, 1990
Welcome to Manayunk Station on SEPTA's Ivy Ridge railroad line. The line connects the transformed mill town with Bala Cynwyd and Center City. The small platform does have a roof over it, but its walls are gone and there's no place to sit. More to the point, there is no reason to wait in the station because the trains don't run anymore. One of the two tracks on the majestic Manayunk Bridge, which crosses Green Lane, Main Street, the Manayunk canal, the Schuylkill and the expressway, has not worked in at least 10 years.
March 1, 2005
Not to worry. That was the message from Gov. Rendell, who yesterday unveiled a $412 million bailout to resolve Pennsylvania's mass-transit funding crisis through 2006, if necessary. Despite Rendell's rabbit-out-of-the- hat routine, there's still cause for worry. It's not a done deal yet. He will need support from regional transportation planning agencies, though that support is likely. The biggest worry, though, is that the plan is a stopgap. It does not provide the larger, reliable base of dollars needed to support the state's 70 transit agencies, including its largest ones, SEPTA and the Port Authority of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh.
March 19, 1990
Let's back up a few miles in history before jumping to any conclusions about Congressman Bill Gray's threat to withhold federal transportation dollars if Pennsylvania fails to establish a dedicated source of revenue for SEPTA. A couple of hundred years ago, some crafty colonists came to Philadelphia to put a few revolutionary thoughts on paper. Over a period of a couple of years, they ended up creating the United States Constitution. Not bad for a bunch of farmers with bad eyesight but lots of foresight.
January 8, 2005
The Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania House seem ready to do the right things to preserve the state's mass transit systems and highways. What they claim to be ready to do is, in fact, more ambitious than Gov. Rendell's charge to the legislature for the special session on Jan. 18. Rendell backs a $110 million package for transit agencies that will only tide them over until the next fiscal crisis. Speaker John M. Perzel (R., Phila.) rightly says the legislature shouldn't fiddle around with stopgaps.
January 31, 1994 |
Traffic horrors in the wake of the Los Angeles earthquake provide the latest reminder - as if we needed it - of America's foolhardy course in placing such massive reliance on 3,000-pound metal boxes, generally occupied by a single passenger, running along and threatening to overrun the giant ribbons of concrete we have laid down for them. But some good news has emerged on the transportation front. The Clinton administration - notwithstanding the tightness of the 1995 fiscal year budget - will recommend full funding for the 1991 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act that's known universally as "iced tea" for its acronym, ISTEA.
November 18, 1990 |
Up to now, Americans have not invested a lot of money in mass-transit technology, said Frank D. Weisbecker Jr., president of UKM, a Kulpsville-based company that makes equipment used by electric-powered trains. But that, he said, is changing. St. Louis; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; Vancouver, British Columbia, and Calgary, Alberta, all have begun light rail mass-transit systems. Thanks to an agreement signed recently with Schunk Graphite Technology of Menomonee Falls, Wis., UKM now has exclusive rights to manufacture and sell pantographs and related mechanisms that will support systems in those cities and more.
April 12, 1986 |
The price of a gallon of gas has dropped by about 30 cents within less than a year. That's good news for drivers - and probably bad news for cities like Philadelphia. The reason is simple. It may be convenient for you to drive a car wherever you go, but it won't be the least bit convenient if everyone else in the Delaware Valley is doing the same thing. And that's what will probably happen if - as now seems likely - SEPTA fares increase by 25 percent at the same time gas prices decrease by the same proportion.