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NEWS
July 12, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 11, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 10, 2016 | By Robert Moran and Mari A. Schaefer, STAFF WRITERS
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.
NEWS
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.
NEWS
July 10, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
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.
BUSINESS
July 9, 2016 | By Lauren Feiner, Staff Writer
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.
NEWS
July 8, 2016
What car owner would take it in stride if cracks showed up in his vehicle's axle or frame only a few years into its expected road life? Similar circumstances face SEPTA, which has had to sideline a third of its commuter rail's cars because of a dangerous manufacturing defect that will be costly to correct. Day 2 of service disruptions for SEPTA Regional Rail found trains and platforms much more crowded than Monday, which was a holiday. Trains with no room for additional passengers were forced to bypass stations and operate as expresses Tuesday.
NEWS
July 8, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
The crack in SEPTA's rail cars has led Uber and the Philadelphia Parking Authority to heal their own breach. The city regulatory authority and the ride-hailing app giant have reached a temporary agreement to allow Uber to operate legally in Philadelphia. This comes just a week after state legislators said a bill that would have regulated the hail-by-app industry was too unwieldy to vote on before the summer recess. "It's taking away the stigma. We will make it legal here pending the legislation," said Vince Fenerty, the PPA's executive director.
NEWS
July 7, 2016 | By Robert Moran, STAFF WRITER
A woman was arrested after allegedly spraying Mace at a SEPTA bus driver and a passenger in a wheelchair Tuesday night in the city's Olney section. The incident occurred about 7:45 p.m. when a Route 47 bus was stopped in the 5600 block of North Fifth Street to allow the passenger in the wheelchair to board, said Transit Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel 3rd. The bus driver was assisting the wheelchair rider "when a woman boarded who was very agitated because she felt the driver had passed her by in mid-block," Nestel said.
NEWS
July 7, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin and Justine McDaniel, STAFF WRITERS
Jammed platforms. Brutal delays. Passengers left stranded as packed-to-capacity trains sped past. And, because some people were likely off Tuesday for the holiday, things will probably get worse, especially for riders from inner-ring suburbs who will have to contend with the most crowded trains. "It could be a little worse tomorrow," said Jeff Knueppel, SEPTA's general manager, during a news conference Tuesday. "I wish I didn't feel that way but I've got to say it. " And the problems could last all summer, officials said, because they don't know whether a temporary weld can get the trains back in service until new beams are installed.
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