The strong intercity network that Pennsylvania needs

This is a proposal for a full intercity surface transit network for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, implementable within 5 years of commencement. The primary component is a core network of bus services, provided on a fully accessible intercity motorcoach fleet, but the plan also encompasses PennDOT-funded rail service. The core network bus routes are distinguished from their counterparts today by being far more frequent

SEPTA’s Regional Rail fare collection contortions are a symptom of a system that is strategically adrift

Ever since last summer’s Silverliner V equalizer beam crisis, SEPTA has been collecting Center City outbound Regional Rail tickets at the platform stairs in the evening rush.  On Tuesday, SEPTA announced that beginning July 10th, it will modify the procedure to punch tickets only, but have passengers retain their tickets and have them displayed throughout […]

New Year / New Mayor Resolutions for 2016

It’s a time of new beginnings, and hopes for a better future!  Or at least, trying to be better than we are now, in ways that will fade along with our newly-renewed gym memberships. In no particular order: No more “SEPTA Key is Late” complaints.   It’s very late.  We all know it’s very late.  We […]

Pittsburgh is the competition. Let’s steal their best idea: free student and faculty transit

Last spring, I waxed rhapsodic on the similarities between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, while calling for strengthening the transportation ties between the two cities. But today, I want to recast the Steel City as villain, not hero. Let’s take the Yinzers, for the moment, as our municipal rivals for our most precious resource: human capital. Because […]

Knowledge is power, especially on bad days

Quick thoughts on SEPTA’s response this morning to the fire in Kensington across from York-Dauphin Station that shut down the El: Obviously, the root cause of the mess was an enormous fire on someone else’s property that SEPTA could not have prevented, but since “Large Fires in Kensington” seems to be the new normal, at least until […]

Looking back, looking ahead: New Year’s roundup 2015

In the last night of the year, five things we’ll remember from 2014: The year of citizen action.  I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much when Conrad Benner launched a change.org petition to get SEPTA to run the subways overnight.  But it worked, and now another petition has sparked progress on a second front, in […]

Weekly Roundup: Pay as you enter, IBEW settles, police body cams, Greenlee may be a fool, and Previdi definitely is

Another edition brought to you by the World’s Worst Blogger: In the end of an era, SEPTA has announced that, beginning on September 1, pay-as-you-leave will be abolished on the Suburban Transit routes out of 69th Street Terminal where it is currently the rule. This will standardize the entire SEPTA transit system on the more […]

The Pennsauken Transit Center is open. Was it worth it?

Yesterday, at 5:39a, the first scheduled passenger service pulled into the new Pennsauken Transit Center, NJT’s newest rail station connecting the River Line and the Atlantic City Line. Festivities, dedications and a general atmosphere of celebration have settled over South Jersey. But was this station really what South Jersey, and the Atlantic City Line in […]

Got the wrong pass? SEPTA somehow anticipated that might happen.

Did the pass rule changes that went into effect on this Canada Day screw you? SEPTA Customer Service would like you to know that you can trade in your pass for the one you need. Just bring your already-purchased pass, plus the difference in cost, to a SEPTA Sales Window (like the one at, say, […]

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 […]