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BUSINESS
June 14, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA on Friday celebrated an accomplishment that took 15 years, cost about $50 million, and is virtually invisible to its Regional Rail passengers. Crews installed a plaqueonthe overhead catenary wires by the Wallingford station marking the installation of 150 miles of new wiring to reduce train delays and improve performance. Catenary wires provide electric power to run Regional Rail trains over the system's 280 miles of track. Friday was a rare chance for SEPTA workers like lineman first class Bernie Shine, 49, of Collingswood, to bask in the limelight.
BUSINESS
May 30, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Christmas came early for SEPTA on Thursday. The transit agency's board of directors authorized nearly $300 million in vehicle purchases and construction projects. Also, it approved a $1.36 billion operating budget and $535 million capital budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Separately, the board approved a new advertising policy to prohibit political ads, following a federal court ruling earlier this year that required SEPTA to accept bus ads featuring Adolf Hitler.
BUSINESS
May 29, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA plans to spend up to $154 million for 18 new Regional Rail locomotives, the authority's biggest railroad acquisition in a decade. The electric locomotives would replace eight aging engines operating on the Lansdale-Doylestown, Paoli-Thorndale, Trenton, and Wilmington-Newark lines, and add capacity to other regional lines. The SEPTA board is expected to approve the purchase on Thursday, with the locomotives to be delivered in 2018. SEPTA is buying 13 "Cities Sprinter" ACS-64 locomotives to be built by Siemens Industry Inc., the German conglomerate, at its factory in Sacramento, Calif.
NEWS
May 22, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Almost alone among the nation's railroads, SEPTA's Regional Rail network is on pace to meet a federal deadline of Dec. 31 to install a "positive train control" system to prevent accidents like the Amtrak derailment last week that killed eight and injured 200 passengers. SEPTA moved faster than most railroads to buy the necessary radio spectrum needed to send control information to trains. That gave SEPTA a crucial head start in 2010. And SEPTA delayed other projects for years to spend more than $300 million for positive train control because the federal government did not provide funding when it mandated the control system.
BUSINESS
March 23, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wetter. Warmer. Wilder. That long-term weather forecast for the Philadelphia region means trouble for SEPTA, especially on its railroad, subway, and trolley routes. A federal report released this month, which used SEPTA as a case study for the nation's transit systems, predicts that average temperatures in Philadelphia will rise by 3 to 6 degrees by 2050, with greater annual rainfall and more frequent "heavy precipitation events. " That means SEPTA can expect more flooding, sagging rail-power lines, mudslides, toppled trees, and washed-out rail beds.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Boosted by an improving economy and lower gasoline prices, travel is increasing on U.S. highways and transit systems, although individual American drivers appear to be driving fewer miles than they used to. The rebound in vehicle traffic in 2014 followed six years of declining or stagnant numbers, attributed to tough economic times and changing driving habits. Mass transit ridership also grew last year, continuing a decades-long trend. Transportation patterns are being closely watched by policymakers and federal legislators as they debate ways to pay for highway and transit construction and maintenance.
BUSINESS
February 12, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA managers and Regional Rail workers differed sharply Tuesday on the possible safety effects if SEPTA is permitted to avoid requirements of a federal rule designed to limit fatigue. SEPTA wants the Federal Railroad Administration to renew a waiver that the transit agency has had from the work rule for two years. At an FRA public hearing in Delaware County on Tuesday, engineers and conductors argued that a waiver would endanger passengers by forcing train crews to work with too little rest.
NEWS
January 28, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA subways will remain open all night and Tuesday's Regional Rail service is still up in the air, as transit agencies respond to the impending snowstorm. NJTransit will halt service Monday evening. No trains or buses will depart after 8 p.m. No service will operate Tuesday. No trains will run Wednesday, although some bus and light rail service may resume then. SEPTA service was to be unaffected Monday, spokeswoman Jerri Williams said. SEPTA will post planned bus detours for Tuesday on its website by 8 p.m. Monday, she said.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA will spend $55.5 million to replace the 120-year-old Crum Creek rail bridge on the busy Media-Elwyn line in Delaware County, after approval by the SEPTA board Thursday. Replacement of the 925-foot-long bridge between Swarthmore and Nether Providence Township, which will require rail commuters to switch to buses for part of the route in 2016, is to begin early next year and be completed by the spring of 2017. The SEPTA board also approved other major spending Thursday, including: $6.6 million to buy 40 new 60-foot buses instead of 40-foot vehicles to accommodate more passengers.
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