Why It (Probably) Couldn’t Happen Here

I’ve been wrestling with the recent Spuyten Duyvil derailment on Metro North; other people have covered what we know about it much better than I could, and honestly there’s very little more to say in the face of a human tragedy such as this. I’ve been swinging wildly between despair and vitriolic anger, and had […]

Bridgeport viaduct reopens today as capital funding becomes grave crisis

It is 4:45am. The first northbound Norristown High Speed Line (NHSL) train in revenue service is about to cross the Bridgeport viaduct into Norristown, ending a four month closure for critical repair work. NHSL Norristown riders can breathe a sigh of relief, with cumbersome shuttle busing no longer part of their daily routine. But as […]

Ewing Township has modest but promising plans for West Trenton Station

The Times of Trenton reports that Ewing, NJ is looking into transit upgrades centered on West Trenton Station, which lies in the township’s borders. Mostly this consists of direct bus service from the station to Downtown Trenton, Trenton-Mercer Airport (the back side of which is a stone’s throw away), and New Brunswick. The station itself […]

SEPTA’s capital doomsday plan looks like blackmail. It’s not, and that’s terrifying.

It’s sometimes hard to believe, but it’s been six and a half years since the last of former SEPTA GM Faye Moore’s “doomsday plans”, an annual exercise in political hostage-taking with the goal of obtaining more stable funding for SEPTA. The proposed cuts were severe and carefully targeted to inflame the most politically active communities, […]

NHSL Bridgeport Viaduct closes tonight for at least four months: what you should know

The Bridgeport Viaduct, which carries the Norristown High Speed Line over the Schuylkill River between its namesake borough and Norristown Transportation Center, is in bad shape. Bad enough that SEPTA announced last December that it does not believe it will be safe to ride over after this summer, unless repairs are started pronto. Unfortunately, the […]

Bridgeport Viaduct: the canary in the capital funding coalmine

I was out of town on business these last two weeks, and plenty has been going down in my absence which I’ll be playing catch-up on, but the really big news is SEPTA’s announcement that it will be closing the Bridgeport Viaduct next summer due to deteriorating safety conditions. The Bridgeport Viaduct is the Norristown […]

Trains are better than buses

There is a part of me that wishes that the sentence that makes up the subject line of this post wasn’t true, but in many ways it is objective reality.  Because people prefer to ride trains over buses, as an almost universally revealed sentiment.  Of course, people still ride buses, even when given a direct […]

Basic Thesis: Philadelphia Maneto

Philadelphia is by no means the perfect urban form, and it has a lot of political handicaps to overcome, some self-inflicted and some imposed from outside.  But it has a lot going for it, and a lot of that includes legacy infrastructure from the Pennsylvania and Reading Railroads, and the PRT/PTC and Red Arrow Lines. […]