SEPTA “Trolley Tunnel Blitz” Starts Tomorrow

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Beginning Friday night, Philly trolley passengers will face detours and longer trips for two weeks while SEPTA shuts down the West Philly trolley tunnel to perform maintenance and construction.

SEPTA announced its 2015 Trolley Tunnel Blitz as part of its “Rebuilding for the Future” infrastructure improvement campaign. The trolley tunnel will be out of service from 10 p.m. Friday until Sunday, August 16th.

Trolley Routes 11, 13, 34 and 36 will divert during the construction period to 40th and Market, and route R0 will reroute to 40th and Filbert. Trolley users can transfer at 40th and Market to the Market-Frankford Line, which SEPTA says will provide service throughout Center City for the two-week period.

In addition, Market-Frankford weekday Night Owl buses and weekend all-night trains will operate. Read more »

SEPTA Pope Passes: Back to Square One — Now With a Lottery

SEPTA Pope Map, updated 7/20/2015

SEPTA Pope Map, updated 7/20/2015

SEPTA announced at a 3 p.m. news conference today that it will push the reset button on sales of those special one-day Regional Rail passes for the visit of Pope Francis September 26th and 27th.

Sales of the special one-day Regional Rail passes for the papal visit will resume on Monday, August 3rd.

But this time, you’ll have to be lucky — not fast — to get one, for sales will be conducted by lottery using a system developed by Philadelphia-based Ticketleap. Read more »

SEPTA Reports Record for Regional Rail Ridership

Septa regional rail train

Photo Credit: Jeff Fusco

SEPTA this year has taken the express train to record Regional Rail ridership.

In the recently ended July 2014-June 2015 fiscal year, SEPTA regional trains saw 37.4 million annual trips, a more than two percent increase over 2014’s data, SEPTA said in a press release today. In the 2014 fiscal year, 36.7 million annual trips were recorded on Regional Rail, per a SEPTA Ridership and Revenue report.

With record Regional Rail ridership also reported in 2013, SEPTA has seen that division grow steadily over the past several years. Today’s report mentioned that for the 16th consecutive year, SEPTA has also operated with a balanced budget. Read more »

2008’s World Series Champs Helped Prepare SEPTA for Pope

Pope Francis|  giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com. Map | SEPTA

Pope Francis| giulio napolitano / Shutterstock.com. Map | SEPTA

SEPTA is still having issues with their transportation plan for Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia in September.

Yesterday morning, shortly after sales opened for the limited “Pope Pass,” the special website set up specifically for those passes experienced technical difficulties, prompting SEPTA to suspend sales of the pass and issue tweets promising to advise potential customers when sales would resume.

This isn’t the only time SEPTA’s had some trouble rolling out a transit plan for what is expected to be a massive event.

Transportation issues abounded in 2008, after the Phillies won their first World Series since 1980. Now, transit officials say, they are applying some of the lessons they learned from those issues in their preparation for a likely much bigger event, Pope Francis‘ visit to Philadelphia on September 26th-27th. Read more »

SEPTA “Pope Pass” on Sale Now: How to Get One

Pope Francis, miqu77 / Shutterstock.com. Pope Passes sample, via SEPTA.

Pope Francis, miqu77 / Shutterstock.com. Pope Passes sample, via SEPTA.

UPDATE [10:58 a.m.]: SEPTA has announced that it is suspending sales of the one-day pope passes for the day due to technical difficulties. It will provide news tomorrow morning about when sales will resume.

UPDATE [9:50 a.m.]: The SEPTA Pope Pass site is apparently experiencing technical difficulties:

ORIGINAL: SEPTA may have pushed the Secret Service to be less secretive about how people will get into and out of town for Pope Francis’ visit on Sept. 26th and 27th, but it’s kept the workings of the website for ordering the special one-day Regional Rail passes, www.septa.org/papalvisitphilly, under tight wraps.

Until this morning, when the site went live at 9 a.m. So, like all of you, we just got a chance to take it for a test run.

Here’s what you will find when you visit the site

Read more »

What If the Subway Were Just … Free?

Market Frankford Elevated | Derek Yu under a Creative Commons license. Free burst | Shutterstock.com

I scrambled up the steps of the Girard El stop.

“Come on,” I yelled to my oblivious companion. “I don’t want to miss the train.” By the time she caught up at the top of the stairs, I was fishing around for bills in my pocket. We didn’t have tokens. They don’t sell them at that El stop. I slid a $5 bill through the cage and my friend and I went through. I overpaid by either $1.20 (using the cost of two tokens) or 50 cents (using the cost of two fares).

Nothing I should complain about. But this happens to me more often than I’d like to admit. Many SEPTA stations don’t have token machines or booths. And ever since subway fares rose to $2.25 just over two years ago, I’m constantly shelling out $3 for late-night rides on the Market-Frankford El or the Broad Street Subway. Read more »

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