Longform Sunday: Freedom vs. the Opposite of Freedom

Good morning everyone. I’ve got this post set to go up early this morning, because I have two really big, really important asks on your time today that really need to go together. So I’m setting the timer early so you have plenty of time to watch, read, and process. The first is this video […]

Google, please unfuck yourself

I’m writing this on board a Paoli/Thorndale train I’m taking to tonight’s meeting at the Chester County Library in Exton about Chester County transit. (Ed note: Second row, far left at the meeting.) I’m taking this train to the 204 bus, which acts as a feeder between Paoli Station and destinations farther out on US […]

We’re getting late night subways, maybe! Is it really all that exciting?

(spoiler alert: maybe) Never let it be said that SEPTA doesn’t listen to feedback. Local found-art blogger Conrad Benner (a/k/a Streets Dept.) posted a change.org petition to restore 24/7 rail service to the Subway and the El on Tuesday. On Wednesday, that petition had 1,000 signatures. And today (Thursday), SEPTA’s GM Joe Casey and CFO […]

When all you have is a bus-planning hammer, beware of oddly-shaped nails

My first guest post for this old city is up! If you haven’t added them to your daily reading, do so without passing Go or collecting $200; Geoff and Jon are really committed to moving the ball forward on good public space in Philadelphia, and of course land use and transportation are always two sides […]

How do you solve a problem like DRPA? Kill it.

(OK, the scansion needs a lot of work.) The idea of a transportation authority is very simple. By isolating an important public function from direct interference (and oversight) from elected officials, you can create an atmosphere of continuity and stability that allows the authority to issue bonds without undue distress (in the form of higher […]

Hold this thought

New Jersey Senate committee approves transit agency consolidation: Should SEPTA and PATCO combine their commuter rail operations? Would North Jersey commuters be better served if PATH trains were run by NJ Transit or New York City’s MTA? A plan to consider such mergers cleared a New Jersey Senate panel this week. … The resolution proposes […]

“Time for some traffic problems in Fort Lee”

Smoking gun e-mails have now been produced that definitively tie the September 2013 closure of approach lanes at the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey, to the office of Governor Christie. They additionally provide concrete evidence that the action, taken by Christie appointees at the Port Authority of New York/New Jersey (PANYNJ) who […]

Ruminations on Long Distance

I’m currently on an Amtrak train, headed back south from upstate New York, where I have been far away from exciting happenings in Greater Philadelphia. But I thought I’d take some time, while I’m in an appropriate spot, to think aloud about Amtrak, specifically about long-distance trains. 2013, to borrow phraseology from trite year-in-review articles, […]

All I want for Christmas is for the R-numbers to stay dead

Sandy Smith may be the most awesome man in Philadelphia. I tend to refer to Sandy as “the man who’s forgotten more about Philadelphia transit than I’ll ever know”, which is illustrative but slanderous: I’ve never known him to forget anything. I am reminded of his awesomeness frequently, given his prolific writing as editor-in-chief at […]

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 […]