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BUSINESS
December 11, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
A growing problem with lateness on the Regional Rail lines in the last year is driving SEPTA to make big changes to its schedule, agency officials said Wednesday. Those changes will begin Sunday throughout SEPTA's Regional Rail network, but the biggest adjustments will be on the Warminster and West Trenton Lines. Those lines will now terminate at 30th Street Station instead of at Philadelphia International Airport. There also will be a new, shortened Airport Line. West Trenton Line trains were on time 76 percent of the time in October, officials said.
BUSINESS
November 13, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Water dribbled, a nozzle spun faster, and then, for a few minutes, the trickle became a jet, roaring as it blasted the tracks beneath a train. "It'd take your fingers off if you put them in there," said Dennis McAnulla, the assistant chief mechanical officer on Regional Rail maintenance for SEPTA. Oozing from a pipe a few feet farther along the train was a milky solution of sand, tiny metal beads, and oil that ran like melting ice cream over the rail. The train's three-man crew ran a few more checks, tested the brakes, and Wash 2 heaved forward from the Wayne Electric Car Shop off Germantown Avenue into a drizzly night to combat nature's bane of trains: Fallen leaves.
BUSINESS
November 4, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Wheelchair users on Philadelphia's regional public transportation network regularly face obstacles getting on and off subways and trains. Most formidable are steep stairways that, at some stops, are the only access to SEPTA's subway platforms. Out of 53 stations on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines, about 35 percent are not handicapped-accessible. What's needed is elevators to get people with mobility problems from street level to platforms above and below. "Twenty-five years after ADA [the Americans With Disabilities Act]
NEWS
October 1, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin and Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writers
Last weekend's visit by Pope Francis was good for hotels, but terrible for restaurants and shops closest to the Center City papal events, according to a survey of businesses the City Controller's Office released Tuesday. "Several restaurants stated they were the hardest-hit because they stocked up on supplies over the course of the week, only to find that the demand never materialized," Controller Alan Butkovitz said in a statement he released along with the survey. In the city, 19 restaurants each reported business was off by 45 percent compared with a typical weekend.
NEWS
September 29, 2015 | By Jason Laughlin, Michael Boren, Tom Avril, and Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writers
Pilgrims' progress slowed to a snail's pace Sunday night as tens of thousands of travelers who had come to see the pope attempted to leave Philadelphia through a limited number of departure points. Just before 10 p.m., SEPTA said most Regional Rail riders were finally on their way. That was after lines outside stations swelled to the hundreds, as transit workers hustled to fill trains capable of holding 900. Waits of an hour to three hours in line were reported. Particularly busy was the Broad Street Subway, where visitors who had come by tour bus made their way back to their buses, waiting at the sports complex in South Philadelphia.
NEWS
September 25, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
IF YOU PLAN on seeing the pope this weekend, plan well: SEPTA has already started to scale back its services. Last night, the transit authority shut down Suburban Station as well as entrances at City Hall, 15th and 5th streets. They'll remain shuttered through the weekend, and will back to business as usual Monday morning, SEPTA said yesterday. Today the Regional Rail will switch to a Saturday schedule, with a few exceptions on the Cynwyd and Wilmington/Newark lines. Subways, buses and trolleys remain unaffected and will operate on normal schedules.
NEWS
September 18, 2015 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
PILGRIMS SWEATING over how to make their way into and around the city when Pope Francis is in town got some great news from SEPTA yesterday. The transit authority announced that it has extended sales of its one-day Regional Rail passes at the stations that will be open during the visit. Riders can pick them up for $10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, according to SEPTA. Additionally, three-day transit passes - good for rides on the subway, buses and trolleys - are on sale at stops throughout the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines.
NEWS
September 2, 2015 | By Julia Terruso and Maria Panaritis, Inquirer Staff Writers
It was the pterodactyls that did it for Donna Crilley Farrell. The winged reptiles hovered above a lava pit on a satirical security map that was making the rounds in late July mocking the coming papal visit. Things had gotten out of hand. Daunting security and crowd controls that began in June with Mayor Nutter's warning of "be prepared to walk at least a few miles or more," false rumors of an eight-foot security fence, and SEPTA's announcement that it would sharply restrict trains to and from Center City for the weekend that 1.5 million people were expected to see Pope Francis - all were hijacking hopes for a euphoric, historic event.
NEWS
August 21, 2015 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
IF YOU WERE worried about hitting up the black market for SEPTA papal passes, feel blessed. The agency has more Regional Rail passes, something of a miracle like turning water into wine. The special SEPTA papal passes will be one of the few ways people can travel into the "traffic box" that will restrict vehicle traffic during Pope Francis' visit next month for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. The agency said they had requests from France, Great Britain and Hawaii when they offered the passes via online lottery earlier this month.
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