July 17, 2016 |
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.
July 16, 2016 |
In car after car, the trouble spot was the same: Hairline cracks along a joint where contractors had welded steel plates no bigger than an ice cream sandwich. On Thursday, SEPTA engineers offered the first public look at the cracks that sidelined 120 rail cars, upending the daily commute for thousands of passengers since early July. Still unclear is what caused the cracks, in most cases barely noticeable to the untrained eye, but officials said they hope to have an answer next week.
July 15, 2016 |
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.
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.
July 12, 2016 |
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.
July 11, 2016 |
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.
July 10, 2016 |
A person was fatally struck by an Amtrak train Friday afternoon in Delaware County, forcing the suspension of SEPTA's westbound Paoli-Thorndale Line, officials said. The person was struck at 3:51 p.m. near SEPTA's Bryn Mawr station on tracks used by Amtrak for trains between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, said Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert. There were no passengers on the train, Tolbert said. The Keystone Line was briefly halted for police investigators, but two tracks were back in service around 4:15 p.m. There was no timetable for when the SEPTA's regional rail line would resume service, said agency spokesman Andrew Busch.
July 10, 2016 |
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.
July 10, 2016
A person was fatally struck by an Amtrak train Friday afternoon in Delaware County, forcing the suspension of SEPTA's Paoli-Thorndale Line, officials said. The individual was struck at 3:51 p.m. near the SEPTA's Bryn Mawr station on tracks that are used by Amtrak for trains between Philadelphia and Harrisburg, said Amtrak spokesman Mike Tolbert. There were no passengers on the train, Tolbert said. The Keystone line was briefly halted for police investigators, but two tracks were back in service around 4:15 p.m. There was no timetable for when the SEPTA's regional rail line would resume service, said agency spokesman Andrew Busch.
July 9, 2016 |
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.