December 26, 2013 |
SEPTA's 69th Street Transportation Center, a maze of tangled tracks and roadways leading to cavernous bus, trolley, and subway-car barns, isn't what you'd think of as a hot spot of holiday cheer. But on a recent Thursday morning, while walkie-talkies squawked with complaints about a minor trolley derailment, sisters Deina McLaughlin, 38, and Denita Birton, 49, were intent on spreading the spirit of the season. For the sisters, decorating SEPTA buses, trolleys, and High Speed Line cars has become a holiday tradition - and they don't hold back.
December 21, 2013 |
With new state funding on the way from the recently signed transportation law, SEPTA has switched from doomsday threats to promises of a grand restoration. SEPTA will move quickly to replace aging vehicles and infrastructure, to keep trains and trolleys running on routes that had been threatened with extinction, deputy general manager Jeffrey Knueppel told the SEPTA board Thursday. SEPTA hopes to double its annual spending for vehicle purchases and construction projects to $600 million within five years, Knueppel said.
December 20, 2013 |
A FEW MONTHS ago, SEPTA officials were glumly pondering a doomsday budget plan that would've sliced 'n' diced the agency until it was a barely recognizable jack-o-lantern version of itself. But at a board meeting yesterday afternoon, those same officials were positively giddy as they outlined an ambitious five- to 10-year capital-improvement program that will see many sorely needed repairs and upgrades finally come to fruition. The agency also approved a final $1.28 billion budget for fiscal year 2014, which no longer has a projected $38 million shortfall, thanks to internal cost cuts.
December 13, 2013 |
Stymied again in their efforts to fix broken escalators at commuter train stations in Center City and South Jersey, PATCO officials on Wednesday agreed to pay SEPTA $100,000 to do the work. By Wednesday afternoon, SEPTA crews were working on escalators at the Ashland and Lindenwold stations in New Jersey and on an elevator at the Eighth and Market station in Center City. A $1.39 million maintenance contract approved in September with the escalators' manufacturer has fallen through, leaving PATCO back where it was after the previous repair contract was allowed to lapse in July.
December 12, 2013 |
After months of trying to fix broken escalators at commuter train stations in Center City and South Jersey, PATCO may demolish and replace some of the equipment. That process could take nine months or more. PATCO riders have been dealing with broken escalators and elevators since July, when transit agency officials let a maintenance contract lapse. An emergency plea to SEPTA for help, apologies from the PATCO board, and a new maintenance contract have brought only marginal relief to many riders.
December 11, 2013 |
YOU'D THINK wounded pride might be the only souvenir a Detroit Lions fan would have taken home from Sunday's loss to the Eagles. Instead, Pawel Gorzelewski got blood in his urine and a helluva headache. The Michigan native says he got jumped and beaten unconscious after he left Lincoln Financial Field by a pack of Eagles fans enraged by his Lions sweatshirt. After he came to, he tried to head home - but a turnstile cashier at a subway entrance laughed at him as passing Eagles fans threw trash and snowballs at him, said his fiancee, Julie DiLeo.
December 6, 2013 |
DON'T KNOW IF you've heard, but things have been a little tense over here at 801 Market. Feuding owners, returning prodigal editors . . . and that's just the last couple of months. So when an editor stopped by my desk to talk about the voice of God, I figured the poor guy had finally lost it. Turns out he was talking about a SEPTA announcer who sounded like what I guess he imagines God would sound like if he were, say, announcing that "the scheduled local 3:28 to Fox Chase is next to arrive on track 3, section B. " Me, I've always imagined God sounded more like Rosie Perez, but I digress.
December 5, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA The $55 million remake of Dilworth Plaza next to City Hall is now expected to be completed by Labor Day, two months later than the July 2014 date cited by planners last May. Workers encountered underground stairwells, pipes, conduits and duct banks that were not on their blueprints, requiring additional excavation and demolition. "We encountered a lot of things that weren't on the as-built drawings, and that set us back about two months," said Paul Levy, chief executive of the Center City District, which is overseeing the project with SEPTA.
December 5, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Aiming to turn a part of North Philadelphia into a "community of opportunity," city leaders announced the opening Tuesday of a 120-unit housing complex that has earned a national honor for energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. At Ninth and Berks Streets, next to SEPTA's Temple University Regional Rail station, Mayor Nutter and other officials cut the ribbon on Paseo Verde, a "transportation-oriented" development. The three-story complex, whose name translates to "green walk," runs along Ninth from Berks to Norris Street.
December 4, 2013 |
IN THE wake of Sunday's deadly Bronx train derailment, commuters might be wondering: Could it happen here? Well, in Philadelphia, it's "not a likely scenario," according to Jeff Knueppel, SEPTA's deputy general manager. "We've had a good track record with the problem of overspeeding, and in a short amount of time, we're looking to eliminate it completely from our system," said Knueppel. In 26 years on the job, he said, he has not encountered a derailment on par with the one that killed four people.