March 23, 2015 |
As SEPTA moves further down the line in planning a rail extension to King of Prussia, there are a few things we know - and many more that we don't. Among the decisions so far: It will be a spur off the Norristown High-Speed Rail Line. The entire five-mile route will be on an elevated concrete track. It will stop at the King of Prussia Mall, end at the Valley Forge Casino and Convention Center, and include two to four stops along the way. But transit planners, township officials, and business groups are still studying some of the most crucial details, including which of five proposed routes would get the most ridership, how much each route would cost, and how each would affect noise, traffic, and other environmental conditions.
March 23, 2015 |
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.
March 21, 2015 |
Rising labor and health-care costs are the biggest drivers of a 2.84 percent increase in SEPTA's operating budget proposed for the financial year that starts July 1. The $1.36 billion budget calls for 70 more employees - mostly in safety and construction-support positions - and would make permanent the all-night subway service on Fridays and Saturdays that began as an experiment this year. The budget assumes no fare increases. It anticipates a state subsidy of $658 million, up by $29 million from this year's spending plan.
March 18, 2015 |
When Trevor Newman left home for a nearby Burger King on New Year's Day 2013, the teen took a shortcut across some SEPTA tracks. He never made it to the other side, becoming the fifth person killed on the same stretch of the West Trenton line in Langhorne, Bucks County. SEPTA denies responsibility, filing a motion last week to dismiss a civil suit filed by Newman's grandparents. The family claims that SEPTA and track-owner CSX failed to take lifesaving measures, such as erecting a fence, in an area notorious for illegal crossings.
March 14, 2015 |
SEPTA's efforts to block city bus ads proclaiming "Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran" violate free-speech protections and should be halted, a federal judge has found. In a case that grappled with basic First Amendment issues over disparaging advertising, District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ruled Wednesday that SEPTA had inconsistently run public-issue ads from other organizations, and cleared the way for a private group's ad that seeks to end U.S. aid to Islamic countries using a provocative headline and a photograph of Adolf Hitler meeting with an Arab leader.
March 14, 2015 |
Two hours behind schedule, Beth Heinly finally located a working electrical outlet in the echoing cavern of the Broad Street concourse and settled in, wearing a puffy chef's hat, to cook pasta. The mac-and-cheese giveaway was Heinly's take on site-specific performance art - meant to engage a space that mostly lies vacant, except for occasional skateboarders, scuttling rainy-day commuters, and covert smokers of marijuana. "I wanted to do a really loving thing in a scary place," she said.
March 13, 2015
SEPTA DID what it felt it had to do, pointlessly, and wound up in federal court after banning posters deemed to be anti-Islamic. I say pointlessly because the same ban had been tried and defeated in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco. The U.S. District Court here ruled Wednesday that since SEPTA has accepted other advocacy advertising, it can't refuse ads that call for ending U.S. aid to Islamic countries and that portray an Islamic leader as an ally of Adolf Hitler.
March 13, 2015 |
A FORMER SEPTA Transit Police officer who was videotaped masturbating on a Broad Street Line train was convicted yesterday of open lewdness and indecent exposure. Kevin Fant, 44, worked for SEPTA and was off duty, dressed in a gray hoodie sweatshirt, black biker shorts and black sneakers, when someone videotaped him fondling himself. After viewing the short video of Fant pleasuring himself - which was not played in open court - and hearing from two SEPTA employees, Municipal Judge Karen Yvette Simmons convicted the former transit cop, who has since been fired, of the two misdemeanor charges.
March 7, 2015 |
Like the winter of 2014-15 itself, Thursday's snow was a late arrival. But for the region's commuters - and almost anyone else who had to go anywhere - this was a case of better never than late. By the time the snow tapered off late in the day, close to a foot had fallen in parts of the region, by far the biggest snowfall of a strange winter in which March has behaved like January. The storm's most disruptive element probably was its timing. Rain and sleet changed to heavy snow right before the peak morning commute.
February 27, 2015 |
FEW THINGS in daily life are scarier than being trapped on a train with no heat or power that's draped with live wires. Except maybe a puddle of unidentified goo on the seat or the floor, but this story is not about that. Instead, about 500 rush-hour commuters found themselves stranded on SEPTA's Warminster Line after the live wire came down on the Center City-bound train just before 8:15 a.m. south of the Roslyn Station in Montgomery County. The passengers kept their cool - and their sense of humor - until SEPTA was able to scramble a "rescue train" to the disabled train to retrieve the marooned riders.