Midnight in the garden of tokens and transfers

As midnight strikes, and the 2013 fare hikes take effect across Southeast Pennsylvania, my worldly possessions sit in storage after a month of a gruelling move process (which is why I’ve been so silent here of late, for which I’m truly sorry), and I sit in a convention hotel in Orlando, the most artificial tourist hellhole I’ve ever experienced (I say after having lived in Las Vegas for two years).

To recap the changes taking effect:

Some of the more egregious elements of the original fare hike proposal have been eliminated, like the proposed increase in CCT/Paratransit fares, or postponed, like the revocation of weekday Airport line privileges for Transpass holders. Some of the most egregious elements were retained, like the continuance of the $1.00 transfer fare. And the looming prospect of NPT looms like a fortress wall for the transit divisions, and like Banquo’s ghost at RRD’s dinner.

Harrisburg seems unable to agree on anything, much less a transportation funding bill. The capital crisis will claim the Bridgeport Viaduct as a casualty in eight days, and no solution seems within reach.

Good night, and good luck, Philadelphia. I’ll raise a glass in your honor tonight. And assuming I survive the next few days, I’ll be back in town (albeit officially as a guest, not a resident, for a month) later this week. I’ll have a lot to catch up on. Playing catchup is, to our shame, very Philadelphian.

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  1. I just noticed that the Via Center City fare ($8.50/$9.00) is cheaper than the NJ-CC fare ($9/$10), which could lead to some mischief in conjunction with Section 2, Item 12 of the RRD tariff: “Ticket Agents and Train Crew Members are hereby directed and required to fully inform prospective passengers of any and all other lower fares in effect from their respective stations.” And yes, I had to go digging through the tariff for the intermediate fares because that section of the website hasn’t been updated yet.

    Also, as of about two weeks ago, they found the money to repair the Bridgeport Viaduct. Not sure whether you didn’t report that or I missed the report. http://www.septa.org/media/releases/2013/6-19-13.html

    1. It got lost in my move, so you didn’t miss anything. It’s not actually a full repair; SEPTA is only counting on it being good for another couple of years, but it will keep Norristown on its namesake High Speed Line until the capital funding crisis is resolved one way or the other. It’s not the best strategy, but it’s what SEPTA came up with.

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