Transit Roundup: Fans at PATCO Stops, Delaware SEPTA Petition and More

Plus: A man on the street unintentionally came up with a great new slogan for SEPTA.

There’s so much tiny little transit news today I’m compiling it all into one post. Let’s do this, people.

PATCO Will Soon Have Fans

No, PATCO doesn’t have a large cheering section headed to a station. But it is installing actual fans — the kind that circulate air — at two Center City stations. The 9th/10th and 12th/13th stops will get fans by the end of next week.

Due to reduced service caused by the extensive track work on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, PATCO is operating fewer trains this summer. Riders are being forced to stand on the platforms longer and, well, it’s been quite hot recently. The fans should help a little, I guess.

Speaking of PATCO…

The PATCO stop at 12th/13th and Locust has a fancy new escalator.

Neat, sure! But here’s what’s really cool: To save energy, the escalator slows down when no one is around, then returns to normal speed as people approach.

Delaware Rail Riders Petition

Since the closing of the I-495 bridge last month, SEPTA regional rail ridership to and from Delaware is up as much as 33 percent. Parking lots in Delaware are overflowing! The Delaware Transit Corp. is even running shuttle buses to overflow lots.

But not all SEPTA trains run all the way to Wilmington — half of them terminate at Marcus Hook (PDF). Wilmington only gets a SEPTA train every two hours. Thus, a new online petition requests that all trains connect to Wilmington. (“Philadelphians, do yourselves a favor and visit more often,” it adds. “Just don’t be surprised when you return to Philly with a heavy dose of riverfront envy.”)

Per the petition, Delaware pays SEPTA $751,000 annually to connect half its trains to Wilmington. The petition estimates it would cost an extra $350,000 to $1 million to make service to Wilmington hourly. That station also serves Amtrak trains.

Man Interviewed on KYW Unintentionally Comes Up With Great New SEPTA Slogan

Though you may see it occasionally around stations, SEPTA no longer uses “We’re Getting There” as a slogan. My guess is it’s because no one has been able to come up with a more appropriate one. “We’re Getting There” was so good!

But, I have a suggestion. KYW 1060’s Steve Tawa recently interviewed a few Philadelphians for a story about Philly’s ranking as No. 4 on the list of 10 Cities Where Nobody Wants to Drive. (The list, from 24/7 Wall St, is from February; we’re behind Boston, D.C. and New York.)

Here is the key quote from Tawa’s report:

“We have some of the best transportation,” one man said. “SEPTA from here to there – it’s all right.”

Yes! Thank you, man on the street. You’ve done a better job than any marketing firm could ever hope to.

It’s beautiful, isn’t it?