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Regional Rail

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NEWS
June 16, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
SEPTA's Regional Rail lines lay empty today. And they'll stay that way for the foreseeable future, if union representatives are to be believed. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen announced late last night that their members are now on strike, effectively shutting down the lines for the 60,000 people they serve daily. "There was no progress in these mediations," Arthur Davidson, general chairman for IBEW System Council No. 7, said last night.
NEWS
July 14, 2016
The wholesale failure of SEPTA's new commuter railcars has been inconvenient, unsettling, and, to the extent transit officials cast it as the public's problem rather than theirs, exasperating. But it was not entirely unforeseeable. The tortuous process that led to SEPTA's star-crossed purchase of the 120 Hyundai Rotem cars now sidelined with structural flaws produced more warning signals than an active railroad crossing. To wit: SEPTA preliminarily awarded the quarter-billion-dollar contract to a Hyundai-led consortium in 2004 even though the agency's staff ranked the proposal last of four bids.
NEWS
July 24, 2013
SEPTA SAW record ridership on its Regional Rail system last fiscal year with 36 million trips, the agency said yesterday. Ridership on the transit authority's 13 Regional Rail lines between July 1, 2012, and June 30, 2013, was up 2.2 percent from the previous year. SEPTA recorded 337.9 million trips on trains, buses and trolleys for the year. That number was down about 2 million trips from the previous year, but includes a two-day shutdown due to Superstorm Sandy. SEPTA said Regional Rail ridership has increased 50 percent over the last 15 years.
NEWS
December 16, 2011
SEPTA workers who maintain Regional Rail signals will get an 11.5 percent wage increase over five years under a deal approved Thursday by the SEPTA board. The terms of the new contract, which affects about 75 employees represented by the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen, are similar to those negotiated by other unions in contracts with SEPTA over the last two years. The workers, whose wages have not increased since 2008, currently are paid from $26.55 to $28.85 an hour.
BUSINESS
February 16, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA's Regional Rail lines were experiencing numerous delays and some cancellations Friday night because of crew shortages, an agency spokesman said. "We are confident we'll get people home," albeit with "significant delays," said Andrew Busch, the spokesman. "We have, unfortunately, some manpower issues, some crew shortages," Busch said. "We've had to cancel some trains. " What resulted was a "cascading effect" slowing down service "throughout the system," Busch said. No lines have been canceled for Friday night.
NEWS
February 16, 2000 | by Frank Dougherty, and Chris Brennan, Daily News Staff Writers
A passengerless SEPTA regional rail train was halted dead in its tracks this week when one of its steel wheels split in half. The unusual accident crippled the 14-year-old train as it traveled to the transit agency's newest station in Chester County. Neither the train operator nor the conductor was hurt. "It was a stress crack that began from the inside of the wheel," said Tom Dorricott, an official with the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers. He added that a broken wheel could have caused a catastrophic derailment.
NEWS
March 13, 2001 | by Chris Brennan Daily News Staff Writer
If the Transport Workers Union, Local 234, goes on strike this week, SEPTA passengers may flock to Regional Rail trains and suburban bus routes. SEPTA's City Transit Division, which carries 875,000 one-way riders a day, would be shut down by a Local 234 strike. That is 84 percent of SEPTA's daily business. Regional Rail trains, which carry 103,000 one-way passengers daily, would continue to run from the suburbs into Center City. SEPTA has 35 to 40 Regional Rail stations in the city, according to Bernard Cohen, the agency's chief operations officer.
NEWS
August 6, 2015 | BY STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer farrs@phillynews.com, 215-854-4225
ALMOST 22,000 Regional Rail passes remain for the weekend of Pope Francis' visit after the close of SEPTA's online papal pass lottery at 11:59 p.m. Monday, but it's still unclear which stations have passes remaining, said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. SEPTA has 175,000 passes available for each day of the papal visit on Sept. 26 and 27 - or 350,000 passes total. Williams said 38,068 people entered SEPTA's papal lottery. Each entrant could request up to 10 passes and a total of 328,045 passes were requested.
NEWS
April 2, 1992 | By Steve Boman, SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Starting Sunday and continuing until Oct. 3, most Bucks County riders of SEPTA's regional rail lines will be taking a different route to Center City. Commuters who usually take the R2 Warminster, R3 West Trenton and R5 Lansdale-Doylestown train lines will be diverted onto the Broad Street subway line. Riders of the R8 Fox Chase line will be bused to the Market Frankford subway line. With more than 10,000 commuters to be affected by the diversions in Bucks County, reaction has been varied.
NEWS
January 15, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
A month after a major scheduling overhaul on SEPTA's Regional Rail, riders at Elkins Park had plenty of stories at a meeting Wednesday about missed trains, missed stops, and continuing confusion. "This is a month after your rollout, and this is absolutely inexcusable," said Nomi Saunders of Elkins Park. Saunders, who writes historical fiction under the name Nomi Eve, teaches a fiction class at Drexel University, and has faced conflicting information about which train she should board to get home from 30th Street Station.
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BUSINESS
July 22, 2016 | By Lauren Feiner, Staff Writer
It's been a dismal summer for SEPTA's rail commuters. But one group has been faring especially badly: the disabled. "There's a harsh irony to the fact that the newest, most accessible [cars] are the trains that had to be taken out of transportation," said Matthew Clark, an advocate for disability rights with the Fair Ride Philly Coalition, who uses a wheelchair. Disabled riders have also criticized the newer ride service Uber, saying it hasn't done enough on access. Many disabled find trains and cabs too inconvenient to deal with and often avoid them, Clark said.
NEWS
July 21, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 17, 2016 | By Tom Avril, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2016 | By Lauren Feiner, Staff Writer
When public transit is down, Uber swoops in to save the beleaguered commuter, spending millions to increase its coverage area. The app-based ride service insists its efforts to do so in Philadelphia are noble. But experts point out that helping SEPTA while a third of its Regional Rail fleet is down is also a savvy marketing tactic that attracts new customers to Uber. "This is a very shrewd business move on Uber's part," said economist Giacomo Santangelo, a lecturer at Fordham University.
NEWS
July 14, 2016
The wholesale failure of SEPTA's new commuter railcars has been inconvenient, unsettling, and, to the extent transit officials cast it as the public's problem rather than theirs, exasperating. But it was not entirely unforeseeable. The tortuous process that led to SEPTA's star-crossed purchase of the 120 Hyundai Rotem cars now sidelined with structural flaws produced more warning signals than an active railroad crossing. To wit: SEPTA preliminarily awarded the quarter-billion-dollar contract to a Hyundai-led consortium in 2004 even though the agency's staff ranked the proposal last of four bids.
NEWS
July 12, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
With leased railcars finally on hand, SEPTA announced a new schedule Sunday night to improve service that has been rocky since a third of its rail fleet was pulled from service more than a week ago. The new schedule - effective for Monday's commute - adds trains and stations, with tweaked stops and arrival times throughout SEPTA's 13 Regional Rail lines - promising some relief for commuters dealing with crowded cars and bypassed stops. The full schedule, including a list of specific changes, can be seen on PDFs at www.septa.org/service/contingency.html . The changes likely to benefit riders most, said Matthew Mitchell, vice president of the Delaware Valley Association of Rail Passengers, are three additional trains from both Glenside and Bryn Mawr and two added trains on the Manayunk/Norristown Line.
NEWS
July 11, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
SEPTA's railcar debacle has resulted in packed platforms, long waits, late trains and - for many riders - the miserable experience of waiting for a train only to see it race past without stopping. Can SEPTA do better? Some experts say yes. One of them, engineer and devoted straphanger Vukan Vuchic, says SEPTA should be using shorter trains, and running them more often - the exact opposite of what the agency is doing now. "More attention to the riders," recommended Vuchic, a University of Pennsylvania emeritus professor of transportation engineering.
NEWS
July 10, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
It's increasingly likely SEPTA is facing the worst-case scenario for its diminished rail fleet. As a result, riders will see depleted service at least through Labor Day, officials said at Friday afternoon's news conference. While SEPTA hopes to ease the crunch with some borrowed railcars, "it's not looking good for a repair and a quick return to service" for the stricken vehicles, said Jeff Knueppel, SEPTA's general manager. SEPTA pulled 120 Regional Rail cars from service, a third of its fleet, after discovering cracks in key load-bearing beams last week.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2016 | By Lauren Feiner, Staff Writer
The recent Regional Rail delays have turned riders' commutes into a guessing game of "when will my train come?" But these online and mobile tools can help take the uncertainty out of your travel plans and show you new ways to get to your destination. Transit apps. Transit Tracker, Transit App, Citymapper, and the SEPTA app all provide similar information on train and bus arrival times based on GPS data, where available. This means that the apps will tell you where your train or bus is, but typically with a three-minute delay.
NEWS
July 8, 2016 | $util.encode.html($!item.byline), $util.encode.html($!item.bycredit)
Here is some advice on how to avoid the Regional Rail chaos. Tag-team transit. No need to stick to one mode of transportation. If you live near a Regional Rail station, take advantage of 40 percent off Uber rides to and from the stop - through Sept. 5 - and take the car-pooled ride to your nearest subway or trolley stop. The Norristown Elm Street Station is just a six-minute drive from the Norristown High Speed Line stop, Fox Chase is about 16 minutes from the Broad Street Line, Elwyn about five minutes from Media for the Route 101 trolley, and Trenton 30 to 40 minutes from Frankford Transportation Center.
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