Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania public transit agencies’

Touching Base with Public Transit in Pittsburgh

August 5, 2022

Port Authority of Allegheny PAT car 4009 is shown in Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania, in August 1998. The agency is now known as Pittsburgh Regional Transit.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

SEPTA Station To be Named for Store Chain

July 29, 2022

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is naming a new rail station and rail line after convenience store chain Wawa.

The Media/Elwyn Regional Rail Line will now be called the Media/Wawa Line to reflect the new terminus at 1490 W. Baltimore Pike in Wawa, Pennsylvania.

The convenience store chain is based in Wawa and has stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Washington, D.C.

In a news release, SEPTA said it has been working since 2018 to restore more than 3.5 miles of Regional Rail service west of Elwyn to the new Wawa Station. SEPTA trains last served the area in 1986.

The extension is the SEPTA’s first since the Airport Line began operating in 1985.

The Wawa Station will be fully ADA accessible with a pedestrian underpass and restroom facilities. It will feature a 600-space parking deck. It will connect with SEPTA Bus Routes 111 and 114.

The partnership with Wawa is SEPTA’s fifth major naming rights agreement since 2010.

SEPTA Seeking Comment on Trolley Project

July 16, 2022

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is seeking comment from trolley riders on how new and updated stations, cars and stops will look and operate in the future.

The Philadelphia-based public transit agency is conducting the survey through July 24.

The agency also has conducted “pop-up” events at major trolley stations to seek public opinion.

SEPTA’s trolley fleet dates to the 1980s and will be replaced by new vehicles that it said  will be fully accessible to people with disabilities and have higher capacity to move more passengers.

The new cars will have low floors and ramps; wider pathways; audio and visual messaging systems to communicate upcoming stops and service changes; and designated open space for people with wheelchairs, walkers and strollers.

Likewise, SEPTA is building on-street stations to serve the new trolleys and rebuilding underground stations to be fully accessible.

The trolley modernization program will extend some trolley lines to key locations to make connections to other SEPTA services easier.

SEPTA Expanding Use of Key Passes

July 14, 2022

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is expanding use of its SEPTA Key Advantage.

The Philadelphia-based public transit agency said it is inviting more organizations to participate in the pass program.

Participating institutions can acquire SEPTA Key cards directly from the Authority and distribute them to employees.

The program began on May 1 with Drexel University, Penn Medicine and Wawa stores in Philadelphia participating.

SEPTA said more than 7,000 are using the passes and it has helped boost ridership by 18 percent among workers of those institutions.

SEPTA Budget Tops $1B Mark

July 1, 2022

The governing board of Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has approved an operating and capital budget that is the largest in the agency’s history.

In a news release, SEPTA said it was the first time the agency’s budget has exceeded the billion-dollar mark.

Among the $1.16 billion in capital projects to be funded are King of Prussia Rail, trolley modernization and rail-fleet replacements under state of good repair initiatives. The Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines will be fully accessible for disabled people by 2034.

The agency said the $1.61 billion operating budget contains no fare increases and features fare-related efforts aimed at increasing ridership that faltered during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those efforts include the new $10 Neighborhood FleX DayPass, which is intended for short-distance riders on regional rail systems. The pass program will begin in the fall and can be used for up to 10 rides on subways, trolleys, Zone 2 Regional Rail trains and buses.

The budget also includes the expansion of the SEPTA Key Advantage, a new institutional pass program for universities, hospitals and local businesses.

SEPTA will retain such pandemic-era benefits as one free-transfer per trip on all transit modes and free rides for young children. Select fares will be reduced starting July 1.

SEPTA Seeks Upgrade of Regional Rail Network

May 20, 2022

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has begun the second phase of a project to improve its regional rail services with the goal of making them more useful.

In a news release, SPETA said it is working toward three goals, including providing consistent service every 30 minutes throughout the network; offering more frequent service (every 15 minutes) in some areas with higher demand; and offering faster and integrated services across all agencies, providing express services all day.

As part of the project SEPTA is offering a virtual questionnaire that asks riders about their travel habits and suggests a scenario based on that information.

The information gathered will be used to implement plans later this year.

The project is part of the SEPTA Forward initiative that seeks to transform the agency’s transit services into a “lifestyle transit network” that would provide all-day, all-week frequent service to riders, officials said.

SEPTA to Launch Key Card Pilot Program

March 26, 2022

The Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority will launch a pilot program starting May 1 that will issue key cards to employees of program participant organizations.

The cards will be issued by SEPTA to organizations which in turn will distribute them to their employees.

In a news release, SEPTA said it will begin the program as a six-month pilot with Drexel University, Penn Medicine, and Wawa stores in the city of Philadelphia.

The SEPTA key cards are good for regional rail trains as well as the Market-Frankford Line, Broad Street Line, Norristown High Speed Line, and city and suburban buses and trolleys. The cards will be automatically reloaded each month for the six-month period.

SEPTA said it partnered with 5th Square and Transit Forward Philadelphia to secure a grant that paid for the research and design of the key card program.

The transit agency said it will propose a tariff change to make the program permanent and to allow for a wider Phase 2 expansion.

SEPTA Launches Station Safety Guide Program

March 3, 2022

Philadelphia-based Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority has begun a new safety program that uses agency ambassadors to guide riders at stations.

The guides are stationed along the Broad Street and Market Frankford lines.

In a news release SEPTA said the guides will remind riders of riding rules, help lost riders and contact police if necessary.

Later, they will take over the responsibilities of opening and closing the subway stations, which will enable police to patrol overnight more frequently, SEPTA officials said.

SEPTA awarded one-year contracts to three firms for services: Extrity LLC; Scotlandyard Security Services Inc.; and Philadelphia Protection Unit LLC. The firms will replace security contractor Allied Universal.

“While the guides will not replace police officers or serve an enforcement role, they will act as a force multiplier and contribute to the overall security of the system,” said SEPTA Transit Police Chief Thomas Nestel.

The guide system is part of SEPTA’s Safety, Cleaning, Ownership, Partnerships and Engagement initiative that seeks to enhance outreach efforts to members of “vulnerable” communities, agency officials said. Social workers and outreach specialists have joined the transit agency since SCOPE’s launch last year.

Agreement Averts Possible Strike Against SEPTA

November 2, 2021

A potential transit strike has been averted in Philadelphia after the two sides reached a tentative agreement on a new contract.

The Southeast Pennsylvania Transportation Authority reached the pact with the Transit Workers Union Local 234, which represents many SEPTA workers.

In a news release, SEPTA said new contract affects employees of the city, suburban and Frontier Transit divisions and provides pay hikes, a pandemic payment, paid parental leave and Juneteenth as a new paid holiday.

Members of the union must still vote to ratify the agreement before it becomes effective. The SEPTA governing board also must approve the agreement.

SEPTA Launches Project to Improve Transit Access

October 29, 2021

A Philadelphia public transit agency has begun a program to improve access to its services.

The Transit Supportive Community Development program of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority also seek to increase equity and ridership, enhance local economies and reduce reliance on personal vehicles, the agency said in a news release.

The program will support development along corridors with frequent transit service.

“Development that supports and expands access to transit is key to reaping the benefits of public transportation, like reduced greenhouse gas emissions, reduced household transportation costs, and increased social mobility,” said SEPTA CEO and General Manager Leslie Richards.