July 23, 2016 |
Anticipating traffic congestion from the Democratic National Convention and the SEPTA rail crisis, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday passed an emergency order allowing Uber to temporarily put older cars on the road in Philadelphia's suburbs. The PUC voted 4-0 to lift restrictions requiring vehicles to be no older than 10 model years and have no more than 350,000 miles on the odometer. The order will allow Uber to deploy vehicles 15 model years and newer in its service in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties.
July 23, 2016 |
SEPTA's board chairman said Thursday that he has no second thoughts about buying the railcars that were recently pulled from service due to flaws found in one of their key components. "I was very comfortable with those guys being able to do the job," said Pasquale "Pat" Deon, referring to Hyundai Rotem, which received the contract to build 120 cars 10 years ago. Deon was board chairman at the time. Hyundai Rotem's railcars, the Silverliner V's, were delivered from 2010 to 2013 and this month were revealed to have fatigue cracks in equalizer beams, pieces that transfer weight from a car to the axles.
July 21, 2016 |
A flawed weld that attaches a plate to a key weight-bearing beam is at the root of SEPTA's rail-car woes, the company that built the cars acknowledged for the first time Tuesday. "The design of how it was welded and the weld itself are in question," Andrew Hyer, marketing and business-development manager at Hyundai Rotem, said Tuesday in the company's first extended comments since cracks in the beams forced SEPTA to pull one-third of its rail cars from service. "How we decide to weld the material may make all the difference," Hyer said.
July 17, 2016 |
SEPTA said Friday that it has leased 10 more rail cars to ease the crowding and delays that have plagued Regional Rail service during July. Schedules will be adjusted as of Monday to reflect the additional cars and make the best use of 18 leased cars already in service, the transit agency said. The crowding and delays are the result of cracks found in 115 of SEPTA's Silverliner V cars, which led the agency to pull all 120 cars from service two weeks ago. Officials say they hope to announce the results of their investigation into the cracks next week.
July 16, 2016 |
In car after car, the trouble spot was the same: Hairline cracks along a joint where contractors had welded steel plates no bigger than an ice cream sandwich. On Thursday, SEPTA engineers offered the first public look at the cracks that sidelined 120 rail cars, upending the daily commute for thousands of passengers since early July. Still unclear is what caused the cracks, in most cases barely noticeable to the untrained eye, but officials said they hope to have an answer next week.
July 8, 2016 |
The crack in SEPTA's rail cars has led Uber and the Philadelphia Parking Authority to heal their own breach. The city regulatory authority and the ride-hailing app giant have reached a temporary agreement to allow Uber to operate legally in Philadelphia. This comes just a week after state legislators said a bill that would have regulated the hail-by-app industry was too unwieldy to vote on before the summer recess. "It's taking away the stigma. We will make it legal here pending the legislation," said Vince Fenerty, the PPA's executive director.
July 7, 2016 |
SEPTA's decision to ground the largest fleet of passenger railcars built by Hyundai Rotem's South Philadelphia factory didn't hurt the company's share price, which rose modestly in trading Monday on the Korea Stock Exchange. Hyundai Rotem's investors such as Vanguard Group are used to the political, scheduling, and quality-control disputes that often plague multinational military and transit-vehicle providers, such as Hyundai Rotem. Still, the headlines over the weekend - that inspectors are checking welds while passengers are herded into crowded, older trains, possibly for months - do not help the company's efforts, or the city's, to achieve the decades-old dream of growing its Weccacoe Avenue plant into a center for the U.S. passenger railcar business, and become a successor to long-vanished American manufacturers.
March 19, 2016 |
With last year's crash in oil prices, less crude is moving by train, creating a surplus of idle rail cars that have become opportunistic vessels for some traders storing petroleum until prices recover. "There are a lot of people looking to do it," said Dennis A. Hoskins, managing partner of crude marketing at Energy Midstream, a Texas trading company that recently stored a light crude-oil derivative called condensate in rail cars for 15 days before shipping it to Canada. Though no government agency maintains data on the practice, the use of so-called rolling storage for crude oil does not appear to be widespread.
November 12, 2015 |
Sticker shock is likely to keep three proposals to repurpose an unused rail right of way in the city from becoming reality, officials from the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission said Tuesday. The organization spent more than a year studying possible new uses for the 1.6-mile City Branch and concluded it would be difficult to raise the more than $100 million needed to repurpose the route. The City Branch is a former freight rail pathway running through a trench and tunnel system behind the Rodin Museum and the Barnes Foundation, past the Art Museum, terminating near 33rd Street and the Schuylkill River.
July 27, 2015 |
IF YOU LIKE SEPTA, you're not alone. While the city school district is flunking financially and the police department is too often suspect, the region's transit authority appears to be on the right track. Ridership on SEPTA's 13 regional rail lines hit an all-time high of 37.4 million trips in fiscal year 2015, the period from July 1 2014 through June 30, SEPTA announced yesterday. It was the third year in a row a ridership record was set, according to numbers the authority provided to the Daily News . On the financial side, at the end of FY15, SEPTA marked its 16th consecutive year of operating with a balanced budget, said SEPTA spokesman Andrew Busch.