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 […]

NewsWorks throws the lede down a mine shaft in story about speeding

I have to say, when it comes to consistently high-quality local news, WHYY’s NewsWorks is the reigning king of the mountain. That’s why they sit in the Philadelphia section of the blogroll, over on the right column of this page. But even they sometimes make an odd editorial choice, and the one in last week’s […]

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 […]

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 […]

Catching up, and the incoming storm

I’ve been out of town for the last three weeks, and it’s been quite busy in the Delaware Valley. To recap: The big news is SEPTA holding the first public meetings for the newest incarnation of the King of Prussia Rail project. With the KoP Business Improvement District as co-sponsors and motivating forces, this latest […]

The political problem of Philadelphia

Today’s post isn’t directly transportation-focused. It’s about the politics that comprises the backdrop our struggles take place against. I’m sure others have said what I have to say with more eloquence and sobriety, but this is my version, and if I’m going to have to refer to it in the future, I ought to spell […]

11th hour Fiscal Deal restores transit tax benefit for suburban riders

As noted already by David Alpert and Ben Kabak, the agreement passed yesterday to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff” restores a tax benefit to transit commuters that had expired at the beginning of 2012. Transit riders will be able to pay $240 per month in pre-tax dollars, saving them and their employers money. This is […]

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 […]

A Brief Aside: the Kenyatta Johnson Land Grab Bill

I live at approximately Ground Zero of one of the most vitriolic debates over urban gentrification in America: Point Breeze, Philadelphia.  I hope to not write very much about it here, because I want this to be a blog primarily focussed on transportation.  But of course, transportation and land use are two sides of the […]