November 12, 2013
THE "UNABLERS" (unable to deal with liquor, pensions, property taxes, oh, you know the list) are due back in the Capitol tomorrow to see what they're unable to deal with now. This after a two-week break for elections in which they weren't running. And guess what? With just 10 session days left this year, there's renewed talk of finally dealing with failing infrastructure and underfunded mass transit. How high's your confidence level? Talk's gone on for years: Fix the infrastructure.
November 11, 2013 |
Transit-oriented development is not new, especially to older metropolitan areas such as Philadelphia. Whether in anticipation of the arrival of public transit or in its wake, homes and commercial enterprises have sprung up near rail stations, trolley stops, and subway entrances since 1858, with the advent of horse-car service on Fifth and Sixth Streets between Southwark and Kensington. The first steam train began running from Philadelphia to Germantown in 1832, igniting a mass-transit boom that would dictate how and where the region would grow.
November 5, 2013 |
Tom Nestel, the top cop at SEPTA, is a natural on Twitter. "Rider complained about loud radio player on Rt66 each night. Tonight, undercover Transit Police pulled the cord on bus DJ," he tweeted on Oct. 23, adding the hash tag #silenceisgolden. It's that dash of snark that makes some of his Twitter updates sparkle. "Spiderman 'forgot' to pay at 46th St. He's paying now. . .#cheesesandwich. Can't outrun the radio and the cameras :-)" Nestel tweeted two days later, adding a photo of the offender's Spider-Man-style hoodie.
November 1, 2013 |
A SEPTA conductor has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attacking a passenger aboard a Regional Rail train at Suburban Station. A male passenger was boarding an outbound train on the Wilmington/Newark Regional Rail line on Oct. 15 when conductor Gregory Kelly Sr., 50, allegedly assaulted him, said SEPTA spokeswoman Jerri Williams. SEPTA police responded and spoke to the passenger and multiple witnesses before taking Kelly off the job, Williams said. The passenger, whose name was not released, told CBS3 in an interview that Kelly screamed at him, punched him repeatedly and tried to choke him. He said Kelly became enraged after he accidentally bumped Kelly as he was boarding the train.
October 30, 2013 |
SEPTA and Comcast Corp. will light up about 70 train stations, including the 69th Street, Olney, and Frankford transit hubs, with free WiFi. The five-year project - to be announced Tuesday at a news conference at the 69th Street terminal - will enable WiFi for hundreds of thousands of SEPTA commuters and expand Comcast's rapidly growing low-cost wireless network. Under the program, free WiFi will not be available on the trains themselves. Comcast - the Internet, cable TV, and entertainment giant - now has 300,000 public WiFi hot spots in Philadelphia and 11 other markets, and intends to boost that number to millions.
October 29, 2013
THE OCTOBER 24 editorial titled "Infra-destructers" correctly calls for an end to partisanship and quick passage of a transportation spending bill. SEPTA's recent doomsday budget means closure for nine of its 13 rail lines and a subway line, among other cutbacks. Seventy percent of Greater Philadelphia's workforce use SEPTA to get to and from work. The region's economic growth would halt under such a scenario. This fall, PennDOT issued bridge restrictions throughout the five-county region due to budget shortfalls.
October 22, 2013
GOOD NEWS, KIDS, it's Rabbit Breeders Week in Pennsylvania. Yep. The state House took a bold stand last week and voted 196-0 in favor of honoring rabbit breeders. This bravely bucks conventional wisdom. Who thinks rabbits need help breeding? So maybe there's hope that the House gets hopping (sorry) on other pressing matters and goes against the conventional wisdom that it can't or won't. Take new funding for roads, bridges and SEPTA. You've heard about our infrastructure: basically Iraq after Operation Iraqi Freedom.
October 20, 2013
Zero-tolerance maintains order Grant Calder's plea to the 32 remaining states with capital punishment on the books to see the folly and primitivism of execution is another insular, ivory-tower plea ("The execution standard," Oct. 9). The death penalty exists not as a deterrent or as a societal expression of vengeance, but as a bold line of law pertaining to social order. It very clearly states there are crimes so heinous, so reprehensible and devoid of human conscience that we, as a society, will not tolerate them or their perpetrators.
October 16, 2013
New evidence that proximity to a rail station can increase a home's value underscores mass transit's importance to Pennsylvania's economy. A study commissioned by SEPTA found that homes near train stations in Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Bucks Counties are worth an average of $7,900 more as a result. According to the study, conducted by Econsult Solutions, homes within a half-mile of a rail station are worth about 10 percent more than those that are at least three miles away. Stations with more service, like ample parking and frequent rush-hour trains, have a greater effect on property prices.
October 10, 2013 |
Living close to a SEPTA rail station is good for the value of your suburban house, according to a study for the transit agency. The overall benefit to Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties is about $7,900 per house, or $6 billion of total value added by the Regional Rail network in those counties, said the study by Econsult Solutions Inc., of Philadelphia. SEPTA released the study Tuesday as it continues to lobby in Harrisburg for increased transportation funding.