Dear New Yorkers

If Governor Andrew Cuomo’s continued blithering idiocy manages to stall Amtrak’s Gateway tunnels until after one or both of the Hudson River Tunnels fails, and if Mayor Bill De Blasio and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton succeed in wiping out the Times Square pedestrian plazas, one of America’s most successful urban street interventions, over a handful […]

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 […]

Wednesday morning service disrupted on PATCO and SEPTA after storm

The violent thunderstorm that swept over Greater Philadelphia Tuesday evening, disrupting all modes of travel during the evening rush, has apparently let the magic smoke out of at least six area rail lines. The most serious outage is PATCO, which is entirely without electric power and does not expect restoration until after the morning rush. […]

SEPTA surging extra service to to West Trenton Line and other routes to accommodate displaced NEC riders

SEPTA announced Wednesday evening that it would be moving trains and buses to Northeast Philadelphia and Bucks County to meet increased demand on parallel routes, in the wake of service suspensions after the derailment of Amtrak Northeast Regional 188. The centerpiece of the new plan is a near-doubling of service on the West Trenton Line. […]

Surveillance video strongly suggests Amtrak 188 derailment due to overspeed

A surveillance video in Port Richmond caught a brief glimpse of Amtrak 188 Tuesday night, and what it saw strongly suggests that the train was well over the maximum speed for the track segment immediately before it derailed. The video, which was obtained and broadcast by CNN, shows the doomed train pass seconds before a […]

How to go around the Northeast Corridor shutdown after the Frankford Junction derailment

UPDATE 5/14: As of Thursday morning, SEPTA and NJT are co-ordinating detour service via the West Trenton Line.  SEPTA will be running a new weekday schedule with about twice as many trains as normal.  NJT will be providing free shuttle buses between West Trenton station and Trenton Transit Center.  SEPTA is also providing extra parking […]

Amtrak derailment in North Philadelphia tonight

According to initial reports, Amtrak train 188 has derailed at or near SHORE interlocking, near Frankford Avenue and Wheatsheaf Lane in North Philadelphia.  Former Congressman Patrick Murphy has tweeted photos from the inside of a cafe car that has rolled on to its side, showing injured passengers and first responders at the scene. The Philadelphia […]

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 […]

Whose roads? Our roads! An introduction to American highway blockade

As the country recoiled Monday night from the injustice of the non-indictment in Ferguson, something genuinely new happened. At first, here in Philadelphia, it was like any other of the sickeningly familiar outpourings of grief and anger that have motivated people into the streets before, with a large mass of people starting at City Hall […]