WATCH: Heroic SEPTA Bus Driver Jumps Out of Vehicle to Chase Down Thief

SEPTA has released surveillance footage of a courageous bus driver who it says stopped an attempted purse theft on June 20th. The driver, Charles Arterbury, jumped off the bus to chase down the assailant early in the morning, police said.

The incident happened at 29th Street and Girard Avenue around 4:40 a.m. According to law enforcement officials, a woman was waiting to board the bus when a man approached her and grabbed her purse. After a struggle, she was flung to the ground. Police said Arterbury chased after the thief, subdued him with the help of two passengers, and then called 9-1-1.

“It was directly related to the courageous acts of Mr. Arterbury that police responded quickly and were able to make a successful apprehension here,” said SEPTA Police Captain Charles Lawson. Read more »

SEPTA to Start Trolley Tunnel Blitz July 8th

A SEPTA trolley driving above ground through Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

For the fourth consecutive summer, SEPTA will be closing down the Center City trolley tunnel for repairs. The “Trolley Tunnel Blitz” will take place from July 8th-18th.

During the blitz, trolley routes 10, 11, 13, 34 and 36 will not operate in the Center City tunnel. Service will begin and end at 40th and Market for these routes, where riders can transfer to the Market-Frankford El to reach Center City.  Read more »

Our Odds on the 30th Street Station Area Development Plan

30th Street Station development plan, aerial view

The 30th Street Station area master plan laid out a fantastic vision of a second downtown for Philadelphia in University City. Only money stands in the way of realizing it, with the public sector as the weakest link. | Rendering by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, courtesy Amtrak

$6.5 billion.

The figure was tossed out rather casually in the course of yesterday’s formal unveiling of the two-years-in-the-making master development plan for the area surrounding 30th Street Station in University City, but it represents the largest single bet yet placed on the future of Philadelphia.

The parties involved — Amtrak, Brandywine Realty Trust, Drexel University, PennDOT, SEPTA, and a slew of elected officials and community groups — have put their chips down on a project that has many moving parts and will play out over the course of decades.

As we’ve seen plans almost as ambitious as this one go up in smoke (anyone here remember River City?), it’s only logical that we should ask what its chances for completion are. Herewith are my own odds for the plan’s key components and the overall chances that the plan will be fully realized sometime in our or our children’s lifetimes. Read more »

30th Street Station Development Plans Announced


A renedering of what the area around 30th Street Station would look like when all the projects envisioned in the development plan are completed. | Renderings by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, courtesy Amtrak

This morning, Amtrak, SEPTA and Drexel University officials unveiled plans for a massive transformation of the area around 30th Street Station.

The massive, multi-decade 30th Street Station District Plan would, when completed, turn the area around 30th Street Station into a second downtown for Philadelphia focused on the second-busiest station in the Amtrak system. That station, transformed into a multimodal transportation hub for the region, would serve as the linchpin of the planned development.

New office, retail and residential buildings containing 18 million square feet of total space and 40 acres of open space would be created under the plan, with most of the development privately financed. A total of $2 billion in public investment would leverage an additional $4.5 billion in private investment. These figures are on top of the $3.5 billion Drexel University and Brandywine Realty Trust have already pledged to see the Schuylkill Yards development, which Drexel President John Fry described as “a down payment” on the plan at this morning’s public unveiling, to completion. Read more »

I Tried SEPTA Key — and I Think it Works

SEPTA Key card. Photo by Jared Brey.

SEPTA Key card. Photo by Jared Brey.

Eat my dust, Philadelphia. I got SEPTA’s new payment technology.

This morning at 6 o’clock, stations around the city began accepting “early adopters” for the SEPTA Key electronic fare system. They’ll disburse up to 10,000 fare cards today. If you don’t make the early cut, you may have to wait until the full rollout of the system late this year. Read more »

10,000 Early Adopters Can Use SEPTA Key Cards on Monday

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

On Monday at 6 a.m., after months of delays and false starts, customers will be able to purchase SEPTA Key cards to use on buses, subways, trolley lines and the Norristown High Speed Line.

Well, 10,000 “early adopters” will be able to purchase the reloadable smart cards, at least. After that number is hit, no more cards will be issued for the time being. SEPTA general manager Jeffrey Knueppel hopes those first customers will  provide feedback about the system, allowing for a full roll-out by the beginning of next year. Read more »

Someone Set Off Fireworks on the El

Police are looking for a person who set off fireworks near a cashier’s booth at the Market-Frankford Line’s 56th street station.

Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel III tweeted about the incident shortly after it occurred, around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Read more »

Water Main Break Near Comcast Center Delays Regional Rail

A water main break that occurred shortly before noon today near 18th and Arch streets will cause traffic and Regional Rail delays.

All SEPTA trains may experience significant delays of up to 20 minutes.

The Philadelphia Water Department responded to the break, which occurred near the Comcast Center and Suburban Station. Read more »

Here’s How the SEPTA-Uber Suburban Connection Works


Today’s the day that SEPTA Regional Rail riders no longer have to worry about finding a parking space at 11 of the system’s busiest suburban stations.

That’s because of a pilot partnership between SEPTA and Uber that seeks to find new ways to fill the “last mile” gap between home and the train.  Read more »

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