Millennials Hate Cars, Right? Wrong.

Source: Shutterstock.com

Source: Shutterstock.com

Millennials hate cars. They’re all about Uber and bicycles and subways, right? Well, apparently the conventional wisdom is now wrong. Like really wrong. According to a Bloomberg report out this week, there’s been a steep rise in Gen-Y car buyers over the past five years:

They’ve zoomed past Gen X to become the second-largest group of new car buyers after their boomer parents. Millennials are starting to find jobs and relocating to the suburbs and smaller cities, where public transport is spotty.

Citing J.D. Power & Associates data, Bloomberg writes that in 2010, Millennials accounted for 18 percent of new car sales in the U.S.; in 2014, they were buying 27 percent of cars sold. This suggests that Millennials weren’t steering clear of cars because they preferred life as pedestrians, but rather because they couldn’t afford cars, what with the dismal job market and the Great Recession. Now that wages and employment are picking up for Millennials, they’re the fastest-growing market for auto-sales. Read more »

Seniors Cleverly Made 11,000 SEPTA Key Trips in March

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Photo by Jeff Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

For most of us, the highly-anticipated SEPTA Key system won’t be up and running until sometime “later in 2015.” Only then will we never again be forced to scrounge up exact change — the new system will accept money stored for SEPTA rides on debit and credit cards!

But for seniors, the Key system is already working in parts of the city.

Wait, how does that work? Read more »

Man in Eagles Jacket Rescues SEPTA Passenger from El Tracks

A man in an Eagles jacket jumped onto the subway tracks to rescue a man who had fallen on to the Market-Frankford El tracks at 15th Street on Wednesday, according to surveillance video released by SEPTA yesterday. And they say Eagles fans never do anything for the people!

After the man in the Eagles jacket jumped onto the tracks, other passengers then pulled up the passenger and the rescuer. They then attended to the man who was injured falling onto the tracks. (He appeared to be looking at his phone and was walking on the yellow “don’t walk here” platform border.) SEPTA police then arrived; the man who fell onto to the tracks did not suffer life-threatening injuries. All in all, it was an uplifting example of people’s ability to help out in a crisis. Go Philadelphia!

SEPTA, though, would prefer it if passengers didn’t jump onto the tracks to save people. Read more »

A Look at What 69th Street’s West Terminal Will Look Like After Renovations

2012 rendering of a renovated North Platform at 69th Street Transportation Center | Image by Sowinski Sullivan Architects via SEPTA.com

Proposed new look for 69th Street Transportation Center’s North Platform | Image by Sowinski Sullivan Architects via SEPTA.com

The 69th Street Transportation Center is well over a century old, so it’s not like the sprucing of one of its three buildings is unwarranted. According to a SEPTA press release,  the 69th Street Transportation Center West Terminal Improvement Project will involve the following upgrades to its West Terminal wing:

• Reconstructing pedestrian ramps to terminal platforms, the North and Center Platforms and canopies and Center Platform waiting area

• Partially reconstructing the South Platform

• Enhancing safety and security efforts by installing cameras

Read more »

Egyptian Religious Authority Condemns Anti-Islam Ads on SEPTA

SEPTA-bus-fusco

The controversy about those anti-Islam ads on SEPTA buses has gone international. (See the ads in question here.)

An organization described as Egypt’s “most prominent religious authority” has condemned the ads as a “racist” attempt to “incite bigotry against Islam.” Dar Al-Ifta posted the condemnation to its Facebook page today, as well as to its English-language web siteRead more »

9 Reasons Not to Observe April Fools’ Day in Philly

Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

Clothespin photo by B. Krist for Visit Philadelphia | Broad-Ridge Spur map via SEPTA | Milton Street photo by Jeff Fusco | Lenfest Plaza photo by R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia

In some parts of the country, I can see how April Fool’s Day has the potential to be fun. Everyone likes a good prank, and even a lame one deserves some credit on a sleepy Wednesday afternoon.

But in Philly? This city messes with our heads year-round.

I’m not talking about the cute, folksy, “how-weird-is-Philly?!” stuff that populates Buzzfeed lists. If you’ve spent 15 minutes here, the Mummers make perfect sense: glitter, feathers, booze. So does Wing Bowl: meat, boobs, booze. (Was that really so hard? Act like you know and let’s never speak of this again.)

No, I’m talking about the arbitrary, home-grown psychological warfare that Philadelphia wages on a daily basis, seemingly for sport.

Every day is April Fool’s Day around these parts, and after enduring the below petty mind games, we owe it to each other to abstain from the holiday. Or, at the very least, direct all of our efforts toward the PPA. Read more »

The Futuristic New SEPTA Trolleys Will Look Like …

Munich's Siemens Avenio Streetcar Photo Credit: Siemens AG

Munich’s Siemens Avenio Streetcar. Photo by Siemens AG

Two weeks ago, Citified reported that SEPTA has begun the early procurement phase of a massive, once-in-a-generation overhaul of the aging trolley fleet. Over the next few years, SEPTA plans to unload serious capital (at least $200 million) into new, 80-foot-long, low-floor vehicles that will replace the 1980s Kawasaki models that are predominantly in use. But what the new SEPTA trolleys — or perhaps we’ll finally start calling them streetcars — will actually look like, remains unknown. Byron Comati, SEPTA’s director of strategic planning and analysis, said that the agency is in the midst of getting an expression of interest from companies around the globe:

To see what the manufacturers, the car builders can do. What’s out there? Responding to our expression of interest means that whether you’re from a German company, a Dutch company, an American Company, a Chinese company, a Korean company — what’ve you got?

SEPTA has some options. Around the globe, manufacturers have been designing low-floor models that could fit the SEPTA’s trolley specs and be customized for Philly streets. Here’s a look at what’s out there. Read more »

SEPTA Has Started Painting the Underground Concourse

septa-concourse-painting

Last month, we told you about SEPTA’s grand plans for Center City’s underground concourse. We now have some tangible evidence of the upgrade: The columns on the South Broad concourse are being painted!

SEPTA has been working on the South Broad section of the concourse, which runs from the weird, exit-only portion of the City Hall stop on the Broad Street Line to Locust Street, for a little over a month now. They’ve fixed several stretches of concrete, and eventually plan to try to make the concourse not creepy. That’ll be tough — um, see the above photo — but it’s worth a shot. Read more »

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