April 4, 2014 |
WHEN THE LAST of SEPTA's contracts with its unionized workers expires on Sunday, the clock starts ticking on the time bomb of a crippling transit strike. Willie Brown, president of Transport Workers Union Local 234, which represents 5,000 transit workers, told the Daily News yesterday that he does not want a strike. But this is the same Willie Brown who suddenly called one in 2009, leaving hundreds of thousands of SEPTA riders stranded for six days. Brown told the Daily News yesterday that he won't accept SEPTA's initial offer of a five-year contract with no raises during 2014 and 2015, a 6 percent raise spread over the next three years, increased employee contributions to health care and no pension plan for new hires.
April 1, 2014
REMEMBER "American Graffiti"? Remember the hamburger-shop drive-in where all the cool kids with cars hung out? (That was California. Around here it was Hot Shoppes.) Did anything better capture the love affair between the automobile and the American teenager? It looks as though the romance is fading like a summer tan. That observation follows reporting by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission that automobile use around here is down. The "why" is intriguing.
March 22, 2014 |
For Philadelphia-area commuters, the possibility of a first-ever transit strike by all SEPTA union workers could loom large when a federally mandated mediation process for Regional Rail engineers expires later this year. After that, the engineers, who have been working without a new contract since 2010, would be permitted to strike. SEPTA's labor contract with city bus drivers and subway operators has already expired, and contracts with suburban operators and mechanics will expire in early April.
February 22, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA SEPTA may restore weekend late-night service on the Broad Street and Market-Frankford lines, agency officials said Thursday. Because of increasing nightlife and residential activity in Center City, SEPTA may continue service after midnight, when subways now are replaced by "night owl" buses, general manager Joseph Casey said. The service might continue until 3 a.m., officials said. Initially, it would be limited to Friday and Saturday nights, in a pilot program to test the response.
February 16, 2014 |
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.
February 15, 2014 |
Loretta Tague, an administrative assistant who lives in the Graduate Hospital neighborhood, has a love-hate relationship with SEPTA's 17 bus. This is what she loves: Every five minutes at rush hour, a sleek hybrid roars up to the corner of 20th and Carpenter Streets and promises to speed her to Center City in less time than it takes to punch an e-mail into her phone. This is what she hates: All too often, the driver refuses to stop and let her board. On Monday, at 8:51 a.m., Tague, nearly in tears, sent her boss a text.
January 26, 2014 |
Malfunctioning doors on SEPTA's Regional Rail trains and Market-Frankford subway-elevated cars have plagued riders this week, as snow and ice have crippled their automated operation. On the railroad, the new Silverliner V railcars appear to be especially vulnerable to snow and cold, leaving riders unable to get out at their stops. Snow and ice can short out electric motors or block the tracks on which the doors move, forcing train operators to "cut out" or turn off a door to permit a train to move.
December 4, 2013 |
SPRING AND SUMMER will come and go before construction is finished on Dilworth Plaza - which flanks the west side of City Hall - pushing off the completion date for the project an additional 2 to 3 months. Center City District officials said yesterday that several unexpected snags in the construction phase and cost overruns are pushing the end date to Labor Day at the earliest. The original date of completion was slated for spring. "Relying on as-built drawings for Dilworth Plaza, which was completed in 1977, the Center City District and its construction team estimated in late 2011 the amount of underground demolition work that would be required in order to construct the three levels of the new Dilworth Plaza, while working around operating SEPTA lines," said Paul R. Levy, chief executive of the district.
November 15, 2013 |
THERE ARE 96 acres of prime real estate hiding in plain sight in the middle of our resurgent city. We scuttle past them every day by car or train. In a land-rich city like Philadelphia, it is often hard to see the treasures lying just beneath our feet. I'm talking about the rail yards at 30th Street. Bounded by the Schuylkill on the east, JFK Boulevard on the south, 32nd Street to the west and Spring Garden Street to the north, the rail yards are the most significant piece of real estate in the city.
September 14, 2013 |
SEPTA has drafted a doomsday plan to eliminate nine of its 13 rail lines and shorten two others, close a subway line, and convert trolley routes to bus lines if the state doesn't come up with more money for public transit this year. SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey sent the plan to state Transportation Secretary Barry Schoch on Tuesday and laid it out for the state Senate Transportation Committee Thursday. The "service realignment plan" would begin next year and continue slashing service until 2023, when the SEPTA system would be a shadow of its current self.