Operating budget blues

I have been working on a summary of the long and contentious public hearings in Center City Philadelphia on the proposed fare hikes and NPT changes, but it’s ballooned into a 10,000+ word monster of a post on disability and paratransit and is still nowhere near done, and in the meantime I owe you all …

The Norristown Hearings via Twitter

Hearing no. 3/10: Norristown.@septa #Montco #hearing — Sic Transit Philly (@SicTransitPhila) April 16, 2013 First speaker asks about pass limits on Independence Passes. Good Q; I’d missed that Indy Passes will be only truly unlimited pass. #montco — Sic Transit Philly (@SicTransitPhila) April 16, 2013 It’s true. (Note to SEPTA management: don’t get any stupid …

The Media Hearings via Twitter

In Media for @septa #hearing 1/10: Delco Courthouse wifi is terrible!Loads worse than Amtrak.Take note SEPTA, do not emulate… — Sic Transit Philly (@SicTransitPhila) April 15, 2013 In the back of the room: renderings of faregates in Market East and 30th St. 3-arm turnstiles(!), 30th St barriers look like a disaster. — Sic Transit Philly …

Hearing season leads off with doubleheaders in Media, Norristown

SEPTA’s long hearing season is starting off today and tomorrow with budget and NPT implementation hearings being held in Delaware and Montgomery Counties, today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday), respectively.  Today’s hearings will be held at the Delaware County Courthouse in Media at 2:00p and 6:00p. SEPTA is breaking with tradition in holding two hearings apiece …

Midday service changes on Doylestown, Norristown Lines

Almost missed this entirely, but there were Regional Rail schedule adjustments that went into effect Sunday.  They come in two primary groups, both affecting only weekday middays.   The first, to accommodate wire work, is the bustitution of the Doylestown Line east of Colmar.  Buses will leave Doylestown inbound 12 minutes before the train schedules, and will …

A trip to Upper Darby, a Fare Hike tragedy in three parts

Friday night I went to visit some friends in Upper Darby who I hadn’t seen in quite a while. It was a pleasant evening, with games and the entertainment of small children, but I was struck by how heavily the effect of SEPTA’s proposed fare changes would have fallen on this trip, so I present …

May the odds be ever in your favor: Philadelphia’s Second Casino

Two nights ago, I went to an open house hosted by the Philadelphia City Planning Commission, showcasing the six proposals for the second Philadelphia casino license. That license has been up for grabs since the collapse of the South Philadelphia Foxwoods proposal slated for the Delaware waterfront at Reed Street. Casinos in Pennsylvania, especially in …

FY2014 and NPT: The Monthly Pass Break-Evens

One measure of unlimited passes is: at what point do they become cheaper, per ride, than paying for rides individually? This ratio is one that calls for balance from any transit agency. Lower pass prices encourage the prepayment of fares, which is good for the agency financially, and increases discretionary ridership that drives mode shift …

Another weekend of bustitution on the Manayunk/Norristown Line

As much as I give SEPTA a hard time for its failings, I try to also point out where it does a good job. This goes doubly for the realm of customer service and communications, an area where SEPTA has historically done quite poorly, and where it still falls short on occasion. In that spirit, …

The Pennsylvanian lives

Late breaking news tonight, that the Amtrak Pennsylvanian, which serves New York, Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, and intermediate points, will continue to run past October of this year.  That is when PRIIA ’08 mandates that all Amtrak routes shorter than 750 miles either receive state support, or be removed from the national network.  The only two routes …