SEPTA Increasing Train Service for Taylor Swift Concerts

Pop diva Taylor Swift yields a strange amount of powers (just ask Diplo, he’s terrified of her), one of which is her ability to make people gravitate toward her, completely wrecking traffic and public transportation along the way. She can also move SEPTA.

To prepare for the onslaught of folks heading to Lincoln Financial Field this weekend to catch the Wyomissing native’s two sold-out shows, SEPTA is adding nearly two-dozen extra trips on the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines on Friday and Saturday. Fox Philly has the deets for those of you planning a trip:

Read more »

SEPTA, Others Turn to Hackers to Improve Transit

Septa regional rail train

SEPTA and others have turned to hackers to help enhance the mass transit experience throughout Philadelphia.

This past weekend, SEPTA and Code for Philly hosted a hack-a-thon to figure ways to better get around the city. A couple dozen coders met at SEPTA’s Center City headquarters to use the organization’s open data to improve the public transportation.

Here are two apps that caught our eye: Read more »

Can SEPTA Plausibly Offer an Uber-like Bus Service?

Credit: Shutterstock.com

The prospect of on-demand mass transit — basically the Uber model, but with buses or vans — has been the subject of plenty of speculation in recent months.

Citified recently wrote about the growing number of private companies in other cities that seem to see a market opening in what’s sometimes called “microtransit,” including Uberpool, Bridj and Lyft Line. There’s also at least one company, TransLoc, that’s trying to convince public mass transit agencies to embrace on-demand, dynamic routing technology.

How does all this work? As a City Lab story on TransLoc put it: Read more »

NYT Op-Ed: SEPTA “Censors” Controversial Speech

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An op-ed in today’s New York Times accuses SEPTA and transit agencies in New York and Washington D.C. of “censorship” for policies refusing to feature political advertising on buses and trains.

The critique comes just days after SEPTA adopted a new policy banning such ads; a move made in the aftermath of a court order to feature anti-Islamic advertising on city buses for 30 days. The ads were carried by SEPTA during the month of April; the group that sponsored the ads — the American Freedom Defense Initiative — was targeted last month in Texas for a deadly attack at a “draw Muhammad” art contest it sponsored.

Betsy McCaughey is a conservative activist best known, perhaps, for her opposition to universal health insurance programs offered by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s and, more recently, by President Barack Obama. She wrote today’s op-ed:  Read more »

Why Philadelphians Are Head Over Heels In Love With Their Buses

Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Earlier this month, statistics came out showing just how much bus ridership in New York City has plummeted there since the Great Recession. Frankly, it’s shocking. There were 162,000 fewer daily riders on weekdays in 2014 than in 2009 — i.e., roughly six fewer bus rides per year for every New Yorker.

And New York is hardly an outlier. Chicago’s bus ridership dropped 8 percent last year alone. Los Angeles’ was down 3 percent. And Detroit’s swan-dived a staggering 14 percent. Read more »

BizFeed: Bank Plans Philly Layoffs; Google, Facebook Test Payment Systems

VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

1. Big Bank Plans Philly Layoffs

The News: Wells Fargo is laying off 89 people in Philadelphia in July. The layoffs affect the bank’s legal order processing unit at its Independence Mall office in Old City. They respond to legal requests from third parties like the IRS, federal state agencies and law firms seeking customer bank records.

The layoffs were announced Thursday in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice filed with the state of Pennsylvania. Workers were notified in November. Read more »

SEPTA to Ban Controversial Ads

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

An employee of Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority raises his fist in the air, Friday, Oct. 28, 2005, while entering a SEPTA bus depot in north Philadelphia. | AP Photo, Joseph Kaczmarek

SEPTA won’t be taking any more anti-Islam ads — but it won’t take any ads for guns or tobacco products on local buses, either.

The transit agency’s board is expected today to approve a new policy sharply restricting the types of ads riders will see while on local buses and trains. Among the types of content being banned: Anything involving politics, viewpoints about “economic, political, religious, historical or social issues,” content that is “disparaging, disreputable or disrespectful” to various individuals and groups, tobacco and gun advertising, and anything that “that threatens the
public image of SEPTA.” Read more »

The Media Is Vastly Underestimating SEPTA’s Constituency

Credit: Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

For the first time ever in a Philadelphia mayoral campaign, all of the candidates in this year’s primary tipped their proverbial hats to the importance of multimodal transit.

This was no more apparent than at the 2015 Better Mobility Forum, which was attended by five of the six Democratic contenders, along with Republican candidate Melissa Murray Bailey. The event, which was moderated by Citified, covered once-niche, increasingly mainstream topics like “Vision Zero,” the elitism of bike lanes, and ways to improve SEPTA. Half the candidates claimed to ride the bus to work, and Bailey said she is part of a SEPTA family.

Hosting a forum on matters of mobility, during the thick of election season no less, is one step forward for the nascent — but viable — political constituency surrounding transit issues, which includes bike advocates, civically-minded pedestrians, and residents who rely on public transportation. That last subset in particular — people dependent on SEPTA — is robust.

And yet, we in the press often minimize how many Philadelphians fall into that camp. Read more »

Here Are Maps of All of SEPTA’s Proposed Route Changes

Spring is here, which means it’s time for SEPTA’s annual planning ritual. The Annual Service Plan is where SEPTA lays out the route changes it intends to make in its bus and rail lines and puts them before you, the riding public, for feedback.

This year, SEPTA plans changes to 16 bus and rail routes in the city and the suburbs to improve operating efficiency and beef up service. Here’s a map of each proposed change with a brief explanation: Read more »

Real-Time Digital TransitScreens Coming to Center City Office Buildings

Commerce Square | Via: TransitScreen

Commerce Square | Via: TransitScreen

Commerce Square debuted a new outdoor digital screen that will actually be helpful to the throngs of office workers, commuters and visitors in Center City. Brandywine Realty Trust announced a partnership today with TransitScreen to introduce a digital hub that provides real-time updates on various forms of transportation, including SEPTA and New Jersey Transit schedules, Uber distance times, nearby car share locations and even Indego Bike Share docking info.

Essentially, the one-stop-shop allows you to choose the most convenient form of transportation for whatever trip you’re about to take. CityLab explains that the “goal is to focus on getting city residents to consider all their travel options before they ever leave” and proclaimed that the tech belongs “in every lobby.”

Here’s what that info might look like on the giant LED screen or on a TV in the lobby of the building: Read more »

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