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

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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 […]

Should SEPTA add free Wi-Fi to the Regional Rail fleet?

With schedules back to normal after the summer’s Silverliner V debacle, thoughts are turning to how SEPTA can regain the ridership it’s hemorrhaged over the last three months of misery (which isn’t quite over yet; trains are still shorter than quota).  Jason Laughlin, writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer, collected a few suggestions on the Inky’s […]

A brief summary of my remarks to the NEC FUTURE hearing

I wasn’t expecting to speak at Monday night’s hearing on the NEC FUTURE Draft EIS, mostly because I failed to do my homework and realize that they would be accepting spoken testimony.  So I winged it, with some hastily jotted notes.  Here are the highlights of that extemporaneous speech, heavily revised and extended, as best as […]

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 […]

The argument for Philadelphia from cost control

A lot of local political bigshots came out to the Navy Yard last Monday to announce full funding for another study of the case for extending subway service to the South Philadelphia office park.  It may not be the most pressing transit need in the region, but it does have good potential.  Perhaps more important: if […]

The Secret Service Is Not a Transportation Agency

Since SEPTA’s service plan for the Papal Visit came out, transportation experts and casual riders alike have been picking apart what seem to be obvious flaws. As suggestions for improvement are met with uncharacteristic silence from 1234 Market Street, the picture has become much clearer: it’s not SEPTA’s transportation plan, it’s the transit component of […]

Visualizing parking is the first step to resolving parking politics

A new map shows exactly which block faces in Philadelphia require the pittance of $35/year to keep a car on them. The terms of parking politics in this city may never be the same. Lauren Ancona’s previous magnum opus was a map showing the boundaries of the PPA parking permit districts, a work that landed […]

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 […]