SEPTA Regional Rail Is Delayed, Again

Septa regional rail train

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Commuters are seeing SEPTA Regional Rail delays this morning following power problems that occurred yesterday evening during the rush hour commute.

Passengers on two trains on the Paoli/Thorndale line were stuck on board for as long as three hours yesterday after malfunctioning overhead wires forced the trains to ground to a halt after 5 p.m., according to NBC10. Passengers were stranded near the Malvern and Thorndale stations. Read more »

Why I’m Breaking Up With SEPTA, and Running to the Open Arms of … Amtrak

Scenes from an uncomfortable commute. Photos | Sabrina Vourvoulias

Scenes from an uncomfortably crowded commute. Photos | Sabrina Vourvoulias

For the past 15 years I’ve been a faithful SEPTA customer. I’ve used almost every kind of conveyance the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority provides — buses, subways, high-speed line, regional rail — for both my weekday commute and other travel within and without Philadelphia. I believe it is an incredibly important asset to the southeastern region of the state, and I have always supported increased state funding for it, but I can’t love it. In fact, I often hate SEPTA. Bear with me, I’ll explain.

First, the love. Read more »

SEPTA: Silverliner Vs to Begin Returning to Service in Late August

SEPTA says the first of the sidelined Silverliner V railcars should be back in service the week of Aug. 21.

SEPTA says the first of the sidelined Silverliner V railcars should be back in service the week of Aug. 21.

The first of the sidelined Silverliner V Regional Rail cars should return to service starting the week of August 21st, SEPTA general manager Jeffrey Knueppel announced this afternoon.

Knueppel said that manufacturer Hyundai Rotem and SEPTA would decide on a final design for the replacement equalizer beams for the cars this weekend and award the contracts for their manufacture next week.

The replacement beams will be plate steel like the originals were, but the design of the feet will be different based on the results of analysis SEPTA, Hyundai Rotem, and contractor LTK performed on the defective beams. Hyundai Rotem has already ordered the plate steel for the new beams so that manufacturing can begin quickly. Read more »

SEPTA Shows Off Quiet New Electric Bus to Public

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Photo: Sandy Smith

While it was busy getting the crowds to and from the Democratic National Convention, SEPTA took time out on Thursday (July 28th) to show the locals and visitors a glimpse of the future.

That glimpse took the form of a Proterra Catalyst battery-powered electric bus parked in front of SEPTA’s Center City headquarters in the middle of the day.

SEPTA ordered 25 of these buses in late April after winning a Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Grant from the Federal Transit Administration. SEPTA used the grant, which totals $2,585,075, to cover the difference in cost between the more expensive battery-electric buses and the diesel-electric hybrids it normally buys. Read more »

Why Did SEPTA Kick Protesters Off the Subway During the DNC?

Demonstrators protest outside the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, during the third day of the Democratic National Convention.

Demonstrators protest outside the Comcast Center in Philadelphia, Wednesday, July 27, 2016, during the third day of the Democratic National Convention.

A curious thing happened Tuesday afternoon.

I was on my way to the Democratic National Convention at Wells Fargo Center, traveling southbound on the Broad Street Line, when a cop boarded the subway at the Oregon station. He promptly told passengers that if they didn’t have credentials for the DNC, they had to get off — otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed out at AT&T Station. Several protesters, mostly Bernie Sanders supporters, politely exited.

I thought it was weird. For one thing, it made it harder for activists to get to FDR Park, the city’s designated location for demonstrations outside the DNC. It was also an inconvenience for any Philadelphian who needed to exit at AT&T Station to get home or to work. So I asked officials why they decided to boot un-credentialed riders from the subway.  Read more »

SEPTA Suspends Pay-on-Board Option for Some Trains at Center City Stops

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SEPTA Regional Rail commuters might want to leave five minutes earlier to catch the train next week.

Starting Monday, passengers boarding Regional Rail trains at Center City stops must purchase tickets or passes ahead of time if they plan to depart between 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Affected stops include 30th Street Station, Suburban Station, Jefferson Station, Temple Station and University City stations, where SEPTA employees will check to make sure all passengers carry either passes or tickets before allowing them to board. Read more »

Conventioneers, It’s Clear: Take the Subway

SEPTA shuttle buses, fresh from dropping off passengers, round the intersection of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue as supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders stage a protest outside the convention security perimeter. | Photos: Sandy Smith

SEPTA shuttle buses, fresh from dropping off passengers, round the intersection of Broad Street and Pattison Avenue as supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders stage a protest outside the convention security perimeter. | Photos: Sandy Smith

Back in 1983, when I moved here, SEPTA’s official Philadelphia Street and Transit Map (still the best paper map of the city around, if you can find a copy) had this blunt statement on the back:

“If you wish to move around the city quickly, you must stay out of traffic.”

Note to Democratic National Convention-goers: That means you should take the Broad Street Line to get to the Wells Fargo Center.

A completely unscientific survey of delegates and other attendees during last night’s opening session revealed a significant satisfaction gap between those who relied on SEPTA’s shuttle buses and those who used the subway to get to and from the convention site. Read more »

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